Sweet Nectar

Memoirs of a Downward Facing Dog

As the crow flies, Edmonton to Calgary seemed like a straight shot.  2.5 hours south on Route 2 straight through the prairies on flatter than flat terrain.  How bad could it be?

Well, crows are smarter-than-average in the bird kingdom and certainly the lucky ones cause flying is definitely the better way to go.  Route 2 from Edmonton to Calgary after a snowstorm was one of the meanest, iciest, nastiest sumnabitches I’ve ever driven on….in my life.

I’d headed out of Edmonton with clear roads, thinking a yoga practice and a meal was in my not-too-distant Calgary future.  Within minutes outside of Edmonton, I’d realized that was a drastic misconception.  The road soon became a solid sheet of ice, and the only thing that kept my tires connected to the road was the occasional pockmark of asphalt that provided the smallest amount of traction.  In addition, those bumpy, icy conditions made the windows in the van and my teeth rattle in equal measures.

What I hadn’t realized when I’d left Edmonton was that my windshield wiper fluid in the van was either empty or non-functional.  Truck after truck passed me in a flurry of snow, ice, mud, gravel and salt and before long I could see absolutely nothing out my front window.  If I got lucky, a truck would pass and spray enough moisture onto the windshield that I could use the wiper blades to clean off the sludge.  Most of the time, this wasn’t the case.

Remembering the advice of my friend in Kentucky, it dawned on me that I had my water bottle and could therefore roll the window down to throw the water on the windshield.  A voice in my head had reminded me to fill up said water bottle before I left town.  But did I listen?  Nope.  There was about half a cup of water left in the bottom, which was just enough to clean the windshield exactly twice.

My feet were freezing, my fingers were numb, the blanket was in the back of the van which I couldn’t reach, there was no gas station nor an exit in sight (not that I could see it anyways), the road conditions were disastrous and I was truly, truly scared.   Meanwhile, my mom is texting me on my phone excitedly telling me she’d gotten Nutcracker tickets, and I thought I’d just let her entertain herself with those visions of sugarplums dancing in her head because if she only knew.

Finally, I pulled off onto an exit ramp to pause, wipe the windshield and collect myself so I didn’t cry.  Crying only makes vision blurrier.  Then I had a thought….if I could collect enough snow in the empty jug in the back, I could rest the jug on the dashboard in hopes that the defrost would melt the snow into water which I could use to clean the windshield.  Well, if you have any knowledge of old VW’s, you’ll know that they are notorious for the shittiest of heating systems.  Snow stayed snow, and I stayed scared.

Finally I got the nerve to pull back onto the highway….figuring that forward motion towards a gas station or help was a better bet than sitting on a remote exit ramp in the middle of snowhereland.  And it was at that moment that the REAL lightbulb went off in my head.

Though I hadn’t filled the water bottle before leaving, I had grabbed a can of coconut water.  A rescue squad can come in the most unexpected of forms.  And that can of coconut water was my burly white knight in gleaming shining armor, providing just enough sweet nectar to guide me to the exit.

I made it to a gas station.  Filled the windshield wiper tank.  And still no juice.

But I’d filled up the water bottles at the gas station, grabbed the blanket from the back, and in slow, frazzled motion, while periodically rolling down the window to toss water on the windshield, I somehow rolled my truck into Calgary.

Nobody said adventure was easy.

Memoirs of a Downward Facing Dog


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mary Lynn
    Nov 10, 2013 @ 07:13:39

    Oh Jen, how much longer? Xoxox be safe!


  2. Dad
    Nov 10, 2013 @ 13:24:42

    Be careful…


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