Nevada was first investigated by Jedediah Smith. He’s big over in Northern California. We’ve got the Smith River named after him and a State park as well. Interesting guy. Tough. Had his scalp ripped half off by a bear, I believe, and then had someone hold the thing in place while he stitched it back onto his skull. A rather uncomfortable procedure I would expect, and rather tricky to perform upon oneself.
Next, we’ve got those pioneers heading across, pony express routes, and miners. Lots of criss crossing across this hot, dusty state. And it was hot already. By mid-day it was pushing 90. I drove the first leg of our journey and Al finished it up. Not much caught our interest, so we drove straight through, stopping for gas and an ice cream sandwich.
About 30 minutes from Salt Lake City (and our hotel and a bathroom) Al notices that the State Trooper in front of us drops back behind us. A car rushes past and Al comments that the cop has just turned on his lights to get the guy. Only….it wasn’t that car that the Trooper wants to pull over. It’s…immmmm…well….it’s us. Yep. We pull over about 1/4 mile to our exit. Maggie, our GPS has just announced it to us.
Mr. Policeman comes over to my side of the car and I slide the window down. He asks for all the pertinent information. I dig around in our glove compartment and pull out the registration and proof of insurance. Then he tells us that he pulled us over because in the fair State of Utah, it is against the law to have a GPS system stuck to the windshield of our car.
Okkaaaaayyyyyyy, can we go now so I can pee? I really REALLY need to pee. If I had my GoGirl, I would have been strongly tempted to use it.
But, he wasn’t done. It must have been a slow day.
He asks Mr. Al to accompany him back to his car while he runs all the stuff.
So, I sit in the 90 degree weather and think of anything besides the demands of my bladder.
My window is still down and there’s a slight breeze. I hear the crunch of gravel and the Nice Policeman is back. Has some questions to ask me. Like, do we own or rent property. Do I work or am I retired. Where are we going tonight? (I point to the exit and think of the bathroom that waits for me like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.) Why going to Minnesota? How long are we going to be gone? I’m an artist? What kind of paintings do I paint? To keep my mind off of the aforementioned discomfort, I grab my phone and start showing him pictures of my artwork,
of our home,
of Paul Bunyan and the Trees of Mystery. Of Al lying on top of Paul Bunyan’s boot.
And then he says, he’s going to go see how things are processing and turns away from me and my iPhone slide show.
I hear the crunching gravel sound again as he returns to his cruiser and to Al.
Okay. I’m not stupid. Yes, we live in California. Yes, we live in Humboldt County. Yes, Humboldt has a reputation.
I sit and think about this for 20 minutes as I wait. I look at the map and wait for Al.
It’s really warm outside.
I really want to go now.
The crunching gravel sound comes yet again and Nice Policeman wants me to roll up my window.
I comply as I mourn the lack of breeze.
A couple of minutes later, there’s a dog–a German Shepard–looking at me through the closed window. I’m really trying hard not to laugh, by now. I really am, because I don’t want to annoy Mr. Nice Policeman as I watch the dog circling and sniffing and circling and sniffing our car. He orbits our car three times. Nice Policeman seems like such an ernest young man, as he keeps untangling the leash from around our car tires. He seems like he really wants to find something. I really wanted to take pictures with my iPhone, but refrained from doing so under the circumstances.
The dog goes away and Al comes back, having been given a warning to keep Maggie The GPS off the windshield.
Apparently Nice Policeman thought Al seemed nervous because he was telling the Nice Policeman his ENTIRE life story back there in the cruiser. Anybody who knows Mr. Al can tell you that Mr. Al is happy to tell you anything you want to know in great detail and will continue to talk until you tell him “thanks, that’s enough now.”
Nice Policeman also thought it was weird that our suitcases were not in the trunk of our car. We thought we were being extremely clever because we didn’t want to cart them into our hotel room every night (26 days worth of clothing is heavy). It’s much more convenient for us to take what we want for the next day and leave the rest in the car. It’s much easier to conduct this procedure from the back seat than from the trunk. Besides, the trunk is filled with fishing gear and food and towels and stuff like that for our cabin stay (and not a Humboldt County Export.)
To add insult to injury, poor Maggie (who has to spend the rest of our trek through Utah on my lap) is so rattled by all the police scanner techno crap that she has us keep driving down the freeway and making U-turns. No kidding. She was loopy. She didn’t regain her senses until I reprogramed our destination.
Have you noticed that the fuller your bladder gets, the shorter your temper grows?
Tomorrow we’re heading for Cheyenne, Wyoming.