I woke up at about 3:30am to use the restroom and realized that I had slept for 6 and half hours. This was normal for me, so with renewed and revived energy I set out for home.
I was driving towards the mountains and over the ridge I could see there was an extremely long line semi trucks pulled over. I passed a sign that said something about snow and closed roads, but went by the sign before I could read the information and comprehend it. As I pulled up to the semis I realized that the highway was closed going through the South end of the Sierras. Cars were slowly pulling up and then eventually parking in the middle of the highway. I sat there for a minute trying to figure out my next move. Of course, I had a plan…so, it had to work out another way.
I sat in the van for about 20 minutes. It was literally freezing out so I didn’t want to shut the car off. I started looking at the satellite map of my location so that I can figure a way around this weather as I had no idea when this highway would open up again. I was on a highway, so…one way. Then I noticed it, about 200 feet ahead was a spot to cross the median. I went for it. I drove along the edge of the road until reaching the median crossing with the sign that says no U-turn. I laughed and got to the other side and started driving back to the nearest highway that would lead me to towards L.A. and up through central California. Good thing too, since shortly after getting back on the highway my gas light went on. I ended up at a gas station just in time.
I started back on my way. It was a beautiful sight having the sun rise behind me in California.
I had to pull over and take a little nap. After 20 minutes I was feeling ready to get home. As it became light out I could see the cold that surrounded me.
I made it through the mountains and was headed up through central California towards the Salinas Valley. I was very anxious to get home, but a bit apprehensive to end the adventure. I turned off the music and used the last couple of hours for some silent contemplation about the trip, about life. Through the anxiousness and apprehension I also recognized pride. I was proud of the accomplishment of a solo trip around the country. The trip lasted just shy of 15,000 miles and would have easily surpassed it had I gone through Utah, Colorado, and the deserts of California.
I took my final exit towards Monterey onto 68. The sign there spoke to me, reassuring and reenforcing my notion of pride in my accomplishment. It said you must have “Coles Grande” to do what you just spent the last three months doing. In other words…