Friday, August 29, 2008

Day 111: clutch


i had some time off after starwood dv and before dinner. i happened to be playing guitar with a friend on the back deck of the lodge when i remembered that my little check had been readied for pickup after lunch. i went over and got it only to find that the van that took all the 'foreigners' to the local bank had left at 3:15. i had still been in my office at that time with the campers and was freaked to see that it was now 4:30 and the bank, a twenty minute drive, was closing for the weekend at 5 p.m. i'm leaving camp on sunday afternoon.

i ran across the field to the challenge course, tracked down dave, borrowed his car, and hauled out of the camp parking lot at 4:40 p.m. he'd given me vague and rushed directions- the bank was across the street from a starbucks in a strip mall, and i said thanks and ran. typical is it may be, the only thing stopping me from speeding in this country was the semi truck that had just left camp a few moments before me after making its weekly food delivery. narrow woodland mountain roads curved ahead just sharp enough for me to fully understand that i, in this weary and sputtering tercel, was not going to get the benefit of a doubt in any sort of close-call attempt to pass.

i cleared the truck, eventually, and soon found a lagging impala. grey heads peeked over the dashboard and red brake lights appeared at every curve and hill. i now had 12 minutes to get somewhere that i was relying on guts, vague memory, and last second directions for guidance.

it should be noted that a john fogerty cd happened to be playing as i started the car and also happened to be on the song 'looks like a loooong, longshot baby.' i laughed in this irony of the situation, rolled down the widow the rest of the way, hit the gas, glanced at the clock, and started playing harmonica as the song blasted from the single working car speaker.

i get to the main intersection and glance left and right. i decide left and pull into the turn lane. as i do this, i decide to ask the man in the grey pickup waiting next to me about the location of a bank that i really didn't know the name about. sometimes in these situations, you just gotta spit out the sounds of the name that you think it might be. that's what i did, he clarified my babble, and he said that i could follow him there if i got behind him in the forward moving lane again. i had no choice but to make my left turn however. i cut back eventually and found the pickup with two minutes now left until closing time. i hoped the bank was close from here.

as i look up from the clock, i see a bank on the right that pricked some sense of familiarity. the back of the check had some logo stamped on it and this logo matched the bank, so i made a quick decision and turned in to the lot. sorry truck driver, you probably thought you'd lost me. i ran in and as i waited in line, i noticed that the addresses on the check and the front window matched. key and security door sounds began behind me.

they locked the front door and i stood in line, finding that my eyes were busy assisting and planning the routes of the people ahead of me as each desk began to become available.

at 5:05 p.m., the cash was in hand. i walked out and they thanked me for their business as they pulled the final sliding gate closed.

i repeated the same 'track 12 song on the way back. the warm evening breeze and a fresh perspective of the mountains and the satisfaction of risktaking and adventure and success all settled in together nicely.

tomorrow's the last full day. i leave sunday. next stop, seattle.

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