Hey guys. Sorry the week ended empty around here last week; we made it home safe from Oregon (but not without a little drama) and the evenings robbed me of writing time.
The return trip from Oregon almost wasn't.
When I bought the tickets for our trip, I recall debating between coming home Wednesday evening or Thursday morning. And as our week up north progressed, I had all the while been remembering the Thursday morning flight. Come to find out, as serendipitously checked our itinerary Wednesday morning around 8am, that I was wrong and I'd booked the flight that evening. Crap.
Text messages and e-mails flew from the iPhone in a fury: Sharaun; we leave today, not tomorrow. Things were arranged; rides from the airport, packing, rides to the airport, rides from work to my folks' place. Everything was planned and trimmed and faded just right. Then my dad had to go to the hospital unexpectedly (everything's fine, just unplanned), and our shiny new plans began to unravel. The carseat was in his car; he was our ride to the airport; the car was what Sharaun was going to use to pick me up from work.
In the end, a buddy ducked out of our meeting early to give me a ride to the house; we had to abandon all hope of getting the carseat if we wanted to make our flight; and we had to make a hail Mary run for the airport train to beat the check-in and boarding deadline.
Thankfuly we were able to arrange a last minute pickup at the airport (from a picker-upper who was able to score a loaner carseat so we could be a road-legal family), and my folks are graciously shipping our seat back to us.
Harrowing, to be sure. But; we got home.
And, at home...
Thursday as I rounded the last corner on the way home from work, the steering wheel on the Ford locked up tight; turning became a test of all my arm strength. Somehow, I'd lost all power steering, and it was like trying to turn the wheels in wet cement. Fearing that Rusbuqeutte, the patron saint of junkyard cars, had abaondoned me, I muscled the aging beast through the last couple turns and into our garage. Lately, one of my biggest fears is that the Ford will give up the ghost just prior to me being able to take advantage of the new legislation I've been waiting on (need context?).
I shuttered as I shut off the car; could this be a game-ender for my intended endgame? Would I make out with the handout or wind up empty-handed? (Anyone see the effort here?)
Anyway, I topped off the power steering fluid on Friday (after a Keystone Cops style morning trying to get to work on time) and the beast sprang back to full loosey-goosey steerability. So, all is not lost. And, with each new failing I can't help but think I should take my buddy Jeff's advice and retire the thing now - only to drive it one last time: Up to the dealership to collect my cash-for-clunkers dosh and my new wheels.
We'll see, I s'psose.
And, this weekend we're running away to Yosemite and staying in the valley. I love going to Yosemite; it's one of my all-time favorite destinations. We have three days this time (give or take accounting for travel), with one of them deducted to the "extremely strenuous" Half Dome day-summit - hence today's accompanying picture.
I've done it before, but never in the marathon up-and-back, seventeen mile, leave in the dark return in the dark format. Here's hoping for a not-too-crowded ascent of the cables, and a safe summit and return.
Wish me luck; goodnight.