clock May 17, 2010
author Chris Sopa

A “Sign”…..????

Today I left at 6:00am from Mount Shasta to begin my drive to Seattle where I will be for the next 4 days.

I started the morning off in a bit of a panic.  As I was getting ready to put my suitcases in Kia I could not find my keys.  I frantically looked EVERYWHERE for them to no avail.  So, I did what my mother always taught me to do and that was to pray to St. Anthony for a sign.  Within minutes I noticed a pair of pants I forgot to pack and realized that I left my keys in the pants pocket of the pants I wore the day before!  (Of course those pants were in the BOTTOM of one of my suitcases!)  Thank God for signs but I have to say I wouldn’t have minded getting stuck in Mount Shasta!

It was extremely sad for me to leave Mount Shasta.  Have you ever been somewhere that you just feel you have a special connection to?  I felt like I was leaving home and had to literally pull myself away from the city.  I kept looking back at the mountain and could not help but feel an energetic difference in myself as I drove away.  As I looked back at her the last time, the sun shone so brightly on the top of her peak it looked like a rainbow…a sure sign I would be back to visit!

Saying goodbye to my mountain…

The drive to Seattle from Mount Shasta is a straight shot on Highway 5 North for literally about 600 miles.  Highway driving.  Not much scenery.  Enough to drive someone who has been driving alone on roads, going 90mph, with beautiful mountains and canyons to look at along the way insane!! (Thank you Judy and Donna for the phone calls to keep me sane!)

Still in California…

Driving in Oregon…(please excuse the “bug juice” on my windshield)

It is interesting to note how one entertains oneselves and what one notice as they drive alone for long, boring distances.  Some signs and scenery I noted as I drove along Highway 5 for 8 hours included:

  • Art sculptures made of scrap metal strategically placed along the highway (probably to entertain drivers like myself!) of a bull and a dragon.  Scared the crap out of me when I saw the dragon!  Practically drove off the road trying to figure out what the heck it was!!
  • Noticed the “Welcome to Oregon” sign and because I am so quick, brilliantly said out loud, “Huh, I’m in Oregon.”
  • Cursed when I saw the sign to drive 55 mph on a highway.  Hard to do when you have been going 90 mph for a week on country roads!
  • According to the sign, if you don’t wear your seatbelt in Oregon it is a $97 fine.  (So, why not $100?  What is with $97?  Who came up with that number?)
  • Went into a mini-convulsion when I saw a sign that said “Rocks.”  (By God if there wasn’t a sign I wouldn’t have know what those huge, round, hard things made of Earth were around me!!)
  • Passed a sign in a 65 mph zone that said, “Brake test.”  (In the middle of the highway?)  Then, approximately 2 feet further was another sign that said, “Steep down-grade next 7 miles.”  (I guess they just wanted to make sure I didn’t go 90!)
  • Got all excited when I saw a sign that said, “You’re in Phoenix.”  I’ve always wanted to spend time in Phoenix and then realized I wasn’t in Arizona.  (Blonde moment!)
  • At one point I looked ahead and thought someone was sending me smoke signals and realized there was a forest fire up ahead.  Drove right through it!  Not fun!  I reminisced about the sign I saw in CA that said, “You are in fire danger.”  NOW I get it!!!! (It only took me 3 days!)
  • Had a lovely ego boost when I stopped at a rest stop and 2 young guys told me I had a nice ass.  All I can say is as sore as my ass is from all the hiking I did….it BETTER be nice!
  • Did you know there was an Elkton, Oregon?  (A little scary because as I looked around, it kind of looked like Elkton, MD.  Spooky!)
  • Stopped to get gas in Oregon and found out that Oregon AND New Jersey are the only 2 states that pump your gas.  I always thought New Jersey was the only one.  The gas attendant guy asked if he could clean my windshield because he did not know how I could see out of it!  He gracious cleaned it for me and it was amazing what more I saw!!!
  • Is there a Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in every big city for Pete’s sake??
  • Saw a sign for FREE COFFEE and realized every Rest Area in Washington gives out free coffee.  Sweet!
  • Passed a truck that had a painting of two 10 point deer bucking horns and above it the sign read:  “The Hornier the Better.”  (I thought that was pretty funny!)
  • Became frightened when I passed the sign that said, “Liter and it will hurt.”  (What the heck do they do to you in Washington if you liter?  Jeez!)
  • Passed a road sign that said, “Gravely Lake Dr.” and thought of my friends Lisa and Ed.  (Awwww!)
  • Every route sign in Washington is in a white silhouette of George Washington’s head.

Speaking of signs, remember in my first blog when I told you I sat next to a guy that looked just like my friend Doug?  Well…today I had quite the interesting experience.  Driving along Route 5, minding my own business, I saw the following:

  • A sign for “Douglas County.”
  • A restaurant called, “Doug’s Place.”
  • About a dozen black Jeep’s (my friend Doug drives a black Jeep).
  • A guy who drove by with a license plate that said “Hickey.”  (Doug’s last name)
  • A sign for “Doug’s Truck Stop” in Aberdeen, WA.  (Doug owns a gym in Aberdeen, MD)

Aberdeen, Washington…I felt right at home like I was in Maryland!

I thought I was free and clear after the truck stop sign until I arrived at the Seattle Sheraton and the young man who helped me looked EXACTLY like the cartoon character “Doug” (remember that cartoon?) but with hair and not bald like cartoon Doug (although my friend Doug is bald too, but that is beside the point…ANYWAY…).  It was when I looked down at his name tag and it said “Doug” that I fainted!  When I finally woke up, I thought maybe I should call my friend Doug and ask him to marry me or something because all of these signs surely must mean something!  (I’m sure if I continued to drive on Route 5,  I would run into “Doug’s Bridal” and be able to pick up a quick dress!)  LOL!  (Love ya Doug!)

In case you’re wondering what my friend Doug looks like….

Anyway, Doug (the bell boy Doug, not my friend) helped me get all of my luggage to my room and then I drove Kia back to the airport to drop her off and said my sad goodbye’s to her.  I ended up logging 2,434 miles on little Kia!  What a trooper she was!  I got back to my room at the Sheraton to find that someone had sent up a basket of fruit and 2 Perrier waters to my room anonymously.  Whoever it was…THANK YOU!

Now I have 2 full days in Seattle before I work (yes, I actually have to work for a ½ day – poor me!).  Plan on doing some normal site seeing stuff and putting the hiking boots aside this time.

Until another sign arrives….Sopa out!