Friday, September 12, 2014…. Day 32
Check out time at the campground was 11 o’clock yesterday morning and after I bathed the dog and took a nice hot shower we shoved off, got our junior ranger badges, a geocache and went to The Shrine Tree in Myers Flats, CA, one of three drive-through trees (another dream crossed off my bucket list, even if we couldn’t drive our RV through it). We docked at the One Log House for the night and today was a terrible day of driving.
A long day on the road out of the Majestic Redwoods and into the heat but not before going through Clear Lake, CA the most unpleasant odorous place I’ve ever been (even worse than The Jersey Turnpike) As we passed a lake community ironically called Paradise Cove my headache and nausea began. The strong odors of mold mildew ammonia and chlorine combined burned my nose hair.
What a shame something once so beautiful enough to be named Clear Lake turned rancid green, congealed muck floating at its edges with rainbow swirls of oily film reflecting the day’s sun; algae blooms.
The smell, hours later, is still lingering in our fans.
We cleared almost 300 miles today. The most in a single day to date, and we’re worn out. So, after Costco and Target, our two favorite places, we holed up for night.
Saturday, September 13… Day 33
I have tears in my eyes and it’s not from clear lake. There’s a pit in my stomach and no, I’m not pregnant. There’s an ache in my heart but I’m healthy. I’m fine. But the man isn’t.
I’m angry in my helplessness of being a passenger.
We’re only a few miles outside of Yosemite National Park. The sun is baking the dry land.
We’re driving on a treacherous mountain road hugging cliffs some 2,000 feet above sea level.
Winding and weaving, navigating the blind curves I remind Darryl not to go so fast for fear of toppling over the edge and tumbling down to our deaths.
Curve after curve my palms sweaty and heart racing. Then we see them. Bicyclists racing down the hills. Three, then four zoom past us in the opposite direction. Around another curve and there’s a biker off his bike standing looking back up the mountain. And a little ways up I see him. Holding his helmet, legs entwined with his wheels, he’s sitting there with a confused look on his bloody face.
Just past him is a large gravel lot and I yell, “pull in there!”
Darryl responds as he keeps driving, “I’m not trying to hang out here.”
My own blood boils as that cyclist’s pours out of his face. My anger, a gift from my father is out for Darryl. My compassion, a gift from my mother is out to the fallen biker.
I yell at my husband, “WE HAVE FIRST AID, ICE, WATER!!! WE COULD HELP HIM!”
Under his breath he says, “Jesus Christ.”
In my bitchy way I say, “No! Jesus Christ would have stopped.”
For miles my head was spinning with how we could have and should have helped that man. He was visibly injured and needed medical attention.
I am now crying, miles down the road and disappointed in my husband.
Helpless is how I feel but what about the injured man, just a bike on the side of a mountain in the middle of nowhere.
Shame on us. Shame on Darryl for making me an accomplice in the neglect of a man in need.
I wish so badly we helped him. but we didn’t.
All I can do now is pray that someone did.
Pray that some-awesome-one did what I would have, had I been driving.
That they pulled over and gave him a drink. Helped him up and made sure he was okay. Drove him to a hospital or gave him an icepack.
What must he have felt watching us drive right by him in his time of need?
No faith in humanity from fear.
Darryl doesn’t stop because he “doesn’t like to get involved in other people’s business.”
He’s afraid. He says it’s how he stays safe and keeps his family safe.
Safe from a helpless injured man on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.
Even if the biker pulled a gun on me I would have been shot and died following my heart. A heart that hurts now, for that man.
Now, back to reality, the world we live in is an ugly place and strangers are not to be trusted for that fear that they could be the one to do us harm. They could be the one to rob us, hurt us, kill us. But these circumstances, it’s hot; we’re in the mountains of California, at least give the guy a bottle of water before you peel out leaving your dust in his open wounds. (a bit dramatic; I know)
What would you do???