This is part 1 of 3, documenting a freakish streak of bad luck and stupidity, which occurred on April 8th, 2009.
Wednesday began with a feeling of foreboding. I was worried about the IV treatment I would have to endure later. I'd been guzzling water for two days straight, trying to make my veins huge and easily accessible so I could have the needle in my hand instead of my *gulp* arm! Ble-e-e-e-echy! The doctor's office is in Pocatello. Yes, Idaho. Bob was going, too, along with my mom. But Bob was going to take the boys on a fishing trip straight from the doc's office, so we drove separately. My mom and I were going to drive together, so she was going to meet me on I-15 after driving from Logan through Tremonton so I wouldn't have to go the long way through Logan. Are you seeing any red flags yet? I should have.
Of course, Bob dusted me in the first 20 minutes, but no problem, I'd find my mom and she'd keep me from getting hopelessly lost.
Did I mention the doctor I was going to see thinks he can reverse the effects of a stroke I had 10 years ago that left me with memory, concentration, and balance problems? He claims to be able to increase my brain function. Keep reading. You will eventually see the irony in this...
When I got to Brigham-ish, I called Mom and told her where I was. Here were her instructions:
"Okay. There's a big mountain range on your right. When those mountains start going down and there's a break in them before the next range of mountains, you'll see an exit. When you get off the exit and turn left, you'll see me."
"Can I see you from the road?"
"No. You have to get off and turn left. And then I'm right there. There's nothing off this exit but fields and cows."
" What town are you in?"
"I don't know! I can't see the signs on the freeway! It's easy, you'll see it."
"Is there a mile marker that you can see?"
"No! I can't see anything on the freeway!"
"Uhhh...okay. I'm sure I can find it."
I drove. I watched the mountains. They started going down and I could see a break before the next range. But, you know, those turn out to be pretty vague directions, considering that there's a really wide range of possible interpretation of said directions.
I did eventually see an exit with nothing but cows. Kind of. It didn't look exactly like what she was describing, but close enough. I got off. Nothing. I got back on.
I did that four more times.
The phone rang. "Where are you?"
"Where are YOU?"
Long story less long: after 30 minutes at 80 miles per hour I still hadn't found her. I was nowhere near anything she had described. I was confused and frustrated. She was frustrated. I told her there's no way I hadn't passed her by now, I had no clue where I was, and I didn't know what to do.
She was all peeved and told me fine, she'd just drive herself to Pokey. I felt bad. And confused. I called Bob and told him about it. He said he could've sworn he saw her little truck off one of the exits. I said why didn't he stop and pick her up? Oh well. He said that's weird that I couldn't find her and I had turned off to the right when the freeway split, right?
Huh? The freeway splits? Crap.
So, I was halfway to Boise by now. I pulled off in Snowville for a potty break, since I was still chugging water like a camel and asked the kind lady at the gas station if there was a quicker way to Pocatello than backtracking all the way to the mythical "split" in the freeway. She told me I was in luck. There is a road that connects the two freeways, accessible from a road right in front of the gas station! Lucky me! Here were her instructions:
"Okay. There's a stop sign right in front of the station. It's not that one. The next stop sign you come to, turn right. After that, you'll go for about 20 miles on a winding road and then you'll come to an entrance to I-15."
Yay! Okay, sounds good. I came to the first stop sign. Check. I proceeded down the country lane heading seemingly into nowhere. And I do mean nowhere. There were literal tumbleweeds tumbling across the road and I didn't pass a single car. There was nary a house to be seen, only fields and more fields. I felt like I was driving to LaLa Land. And I kept NOT seeing a stop sign. Sure, there were little dirt roads that turned off my road, but nothing substantial, so I was fairly certain I was on the right road, but where in the world was the mythical "stop sign?"
After about 13 miles I decided Nowhere was an actual place, and I was going there. I thought, if I hit a moose and die out here, no one will EVER find me. I thought, I am on the flippin' wrong road! And I turned around and went all the way back to the gas station.
"Could I see that map again? I think I was on the wrong road."
"Huh? You're back? There's only one road. Here, I'll draw it out for you. Okay. So there's a stop sign right out here. It's not that one."
"You'll go about 17 miles and there will be another stop sign."
"Wait, now. What was that? Yeah, I don't think I went quite far enough." (And thanks for the head's up about the SEVENTEEN MILES!!!!)
So off I go. Sure enough, 17 miles on the Road To Nowhere and a stop sign appears! Yay! Now I just have to drive 20 more miles on another winding, abandoned road and then I'll be on the freeway, after which I can drive another hour or so and finally get there! Easy!
Meanwhile I kept my eyes peeled for any sign of civilization which might possibly feature a BATHROOM and stopped at every available opportunity.
Eventually I pulled into Pocatello! Yay! I was SO relieved to be in Pocatello! I called Bob and told him I was there and asked how I get to the office now. Here were his instructions:
"Okay. So, you're going to get off on the 3rd exit in Pocatello."
"Say, huh? I already got off on the FIRST exit!" (And thanks for the heads up about the 3rd exit, bee tee double yoo! Could you maybe have mentioned that in one of the twelve phone calls we've had in the last four hours? Oh, and isn't it extra-handy that you have a GPS both in your truck AND on your iPhone and I have a whopping NONE?! How is that helpful?)
After three, count 'em, THREE different people gave me three different versions of how to get to the office, and several turnings around, and crying for the fourth time that day, I finally pulled into the clinic. Yay! Ugh.
My stupid brain kept me from getting to the doctor who claims he can fix my stupid brain!
Departure: 8:00 A.M.
Arrival: 12:30 P.M.
And just when I thought nothing else could go wrong that day...well...stay tuned for Part 2 (Electric Boogaloo).