20101025

Road Trip Notes: Better Get Out of Boise

Sigh. . . some road trips seem blessed from the moment you hit the pavement. This one however, not so much. With two tickets, no entry to Portland (our actual destination) and a wicked seasonal cold I was more than ready to get home. Unfortunately over 1000 miles stood between me and my own bed. We stopped in Boise only because it's where we where when we got too tired to drive further. While pulling into a parking spot one of those new species of humans, the kind who weigh double what the others weigh and eat lots of high fructrose, was standing outside her SUV (snack properly stuffed in face) fiddling about with something in her back seat. Rather than move aside to let me in the parking space next to her she used her hands to guide me in around her. Just so happens she guided me into a short cement wall. Moments later my radiator fluid was all over the parking lot.

The hotel gave us their last available room. I snuck Sesame in the side door and crashed hard. In the morning I got the car towed to what seemed a local mom n pop shop, Gary's Auto. Upon it's arrival there they revealed that they were a NAPA station (insert sound of doom music here). They boldly quoted me between $700 and $800 for a radiator. We had already sourced one at a local supply shop for just over $100 and looked up the going rate on labor, and the hours estimated for this repair, about 4. My New York roots revved up and I called shop after shop offering, "Here's the deal.. I'll pay anyone who'll promise to do it in a day $500.00, that's a fair hourly wage and a little mark up on the part." Someone finally agreed and I re-towed the car over. All there was to do was wait.

What made this stop particularly awful was the realization that there were no commons. Without a friend, our own home, or a car to store or bodies in, we had to "pay the parking meter" so to speak by giving a hotel 1/2 day rates, $50 per 6 hours just to be alive. We walked the area around the hotel to find concrete, wallmartsucks, giant big box stores and no sidewalks. One was not meant to walk here. This landscape was the new arteries of the machine that had become America. Lifeless and based on oil, commerce driven, and NO COMMONS. The nearest green space was way to far to walk. We reluctantly went into a wallmartsucks and got some strawberries. Behind the massive building next to heaps of cardboard ready for recycling a tiny strip of grass and a tree turning yellow and dropping it's leaves offered us a moment of repose. We rolled around in the grass as though it were water in a desert.

Oh.. One positive thing happened here. . . . Sesame got her own bed.

1 comment:

helenw said...

Thank you - your last two posts have moved me greatly - somehow just what I needed to read right now.