It’s been over a year since I’ve driven myself anywhere farther away than a half-hour’s drive, other than to a doctor’s appointment or the lab for blood work or some other health-related appointment for my body’s mission to get well and healthy. I’ve been the ride-along with my friends on many of their own adventures, but I haven’t done anything on my own unless it was close by.
As part of getting ready to head south for some sun, I’ve been scheduling appointments for doctor follow-ups and whatever tests they want completed before I leave the area for a few months. The new cardiologist is on board with me not being within a few minutes drive of his office and I’ve taken care of everything else I can think of to cover all the medical bases while I’m out of the area. I have a follow-up visit with the orthopedic surgeon this week, and barring any revelations on his part regarding the condition of my wrist and hand, I expect that I won’t need to see him again (as a result of how extensively I smashed my wrist last October, a couple of my fingers now have tendon damage and may need to be surgically repaired – but I’m hoping not 😀 ).
I have an appointment to get the oil changed in my car (over 274, 000 miles on that baby!) and last week I got the pressure checked on the tires (because it’s not time for a rotation yet). I still have to take care of the stuff inside my vehicle, making sure I have all my camping gear for the trip south and everything I need to spend some time with my friends in Los Angeles, and I need to pack up what I’m not taking with me and put it in my little storage unit, but other than these few things, my time here is getting short.
But as I said, I haven’t driven my own car very far away. Since the leaves have already begun to start changing colors, the days have a little bit of a chill in the air, and it’s beginning to look like winter is on its way, I figured I better start seeing if I could drive myself at least a couple hundred miles down the road – because as much as I enjoy the Portland area, love seeing Mark and Nick and all my friends, I’m not spending another winter in the dark, grey, dreary Pacific Northwest. Nope. Not gonna do it. I need some sun.
So I came up with a plan: drive myself some distance away for the day, spend a few hours somewhere, and then see how I felt after being on the road for a few hours. I decided a trip to the beach was in order.
I love the beach. I could live at the beach. It’s where my soul resides when it isn’t in the mountains and I haven’t been to the beach to just sit in the sand for, well, for so long I can’t even remember the last time I did it. I checked the maps app, picked the closest beach to where I am staying in Gervais, OR, and after filling my tank with gas and grabbing a few snacks for the road, set out for Lincoln City over on the coast.
It was a fantastically gorgeous day, with lots of people filling the parking lots and sidewalks. There were little kids running on the sand, dogs splashing in the waves, big kids building sand castles, horses walking along the beach. The sun was brilliant and warm, the sand felt good between my toes, the water was wonderfully cool, a Pokemon or two (or maybe three or four 😀 ) got themselves caught, and to top it all off, I stuffed my face with a wonderful fondue at the McMenamins Lighthouse Brewpub.
The day’s frosting-on-the-cake was that I accomplished my goal: driving myself to a location about an hour and a half or so away; spending a few hours at my destination; eating some delicious food; driving myself back to the house again, a total of approximately 200 miles; and physically be okay at the end of the day.
Yup. I pulled it off. All of it.
It was a very good day and I’m ready to be on the road again.
Even if it takes me forever to get where I’m going, I’m still going.