I Hate Driving

The title does not lie. There is this build-up of stress inside of me right before I get in any vehicle. To be honest, I have hardly driven compared to other Americans who live in rural areas. I have heard of individuals who don’t own a vehicle, but should. They don’t seem to have the same problems whenever they have the chance to drive though.

I didn’t receive a permit until I was 17 years of age. The truth is that I failed the test twice before I finally passed. This was all within the span of about a week. My father didn’t really push me to drive. He was happy to do it for me. Yes, he drove me to school in the morning and back home. In fact, he drove me home for lunch and back. Why would I feel motivated to drive a vehicle when I had a chauffeur (more like a body guard).

Now I know why he did what he did. He was trying to keep me inexperienced and hoped I wouldn’t get into any kind of trouble. I still did, a little, but I have always been an introvert. When I did venture out, I preferred to be outside and nearby–alone. It was easy to just walk somewhere or ask my father for a ride. Of course, I was a homebody more than anything.

Most people that I know had one permit and then a license–not me. I had 3 driving permits for the span of 5 years. The only awful picture I’ve ever taken was during my second permit. That was a bad year for me, anyway.

There were a few reason why I finally had to get a driver’s license. The major one being the death of my dad in 2014. That would, of course, be the end of my free rides. Also, I had my first boyfriend who quickly became my husband. It was just time to take that step in life. I needed to replace my dad when it came to taking my mother to appointments and grocery shopping. Additionally, my husband thought I would find a job 8-25 miles away like a normal person. That didn’t actually pan out, as usual.

How was the test for the driving license? Well, I was nervous as ever. I drove around a small town, but the town (village) I’m from is smaller still. I was sweating the whole time. Obviously, I passed. I was told to be careful because I drove too close to a man walking his dog. Also, that town has mostly yield crossings, but very few of them have an actual yield sign… The lack of visible white paint at a red light caused me a slight issue. Apparently, crossing in to the opposite lane and surpassing one vehicle, while using the proper mirrors, was one of the most important aspect of passing the test. I believe I would have failed even in a large town. Forget the City.

As you can see, I am a late bloomer. Additionally, I am immature and inexperienced in so many matters. There is a pattern. Of course, after I was married I needed to get a new license. To be honest, I got lazy. I avoided doing it for several months even though it was only a matter of taking a new picture. The office just brings back the unnecessary anxiety. Also, I hate the weight section of the card. You can see my erratic weight losses and gains. I am currently 100 lbs if you are curious.

So how is my driving? I’m okay. I haven’t really been tested. The last time I drove around a large town I put a hole in the oil pan. I don’t usually talk about it. The worst was in trying to pass a semi, but getting too close. Basically, had the driver not been totally focused then we would have gone under and died. He pushed the brakes, honked, passed us, and drove on about 10 mi/hr faster than necessary. I would cause that. I can be oblivious one minute and then anal grandma the next. Regardless, I am always stressed. The fear of driving is a crutch.

First Time Camping Experience/2nd Wedding Anniversary in Estes Park

I must be that one American who hasn’t experienced many “American” things in life. No, I had never been camping before; therefore, my husband thought it would be a good idea to try it for our second wedding anniversary. We traveled about 4 hours away to Estes Park since that is where we were married. It made sense. Our chosen camping area was the Estes Park Campground at Mary’s Lake. Obviously, my husband had me start off easy. The campground was in the middle of Estes Park and had extra amenities.

We picked a tent spot without electricity, but it was near the restroom and showers building. It’s decent to have flushing toilets. I didn’t even mind paying $2 for a 6-minute shower each time. Let me just say that shaving is annoying. Looking back, I would have filled a bowl with water and shaved as much as possible while in the shower before turning on the shower head. Otherwise, it’s $0.25 for every extra 30 seconds of shower. The office, store, and laundry area were all within one building located at the entrance. If I remember correctly, the washer was $2 per load while the dryer was $0.25 per 7 minutes. Also, there was a tiny pool that was supposedly heated (I felt it was chilly). They even provided free drinking water.

Mary's Lake Campground
Mary’s Lake Campground

The camping spots are definitely within close range. I found humor in that. It’s almost certain that neighbors heard everything from flatulence, bickering, and sex. Altogether, the experience may not be considered real camping, but I think it’s a start. I see myself eventually backpacking for days at a time in the future–not necessarily the near future, but you know… We actually made several mistakes in forgetting a tarp, an extra cooking pot, extra blankets, my husband’s jacket, warmer pajamas for me, and several other things. Thank God for thrift stores. See the convenience in the location? I froze during the first night.

DSCN5683
View from inside tent

Cooking was fair enough. There was a fire pit. We traveled with our own firewood which wasn’t recommended, but we like to cut corners. I may have still preferred the small propane gas stove for certain foods. Potatoes take forever to fully cook in the fire pit. Then again that’s just me being a Millennial. Meat certainly does taste better with the smoke. We had s’mores twice, of course. I had to bring my own dairy and gluten-free crackers. It’s kind of difficult finding certain food items at many stores. I like to avoid the Safeway in Estes Park and prefer to take my introverted business to the Country Market. Anyway, it’s not too bad having to keep the cooler filled with ice. It did cost about $2 once or twice a day (It depends on the weather).

We spent our early mornings, late evenings, and nights enjoying the experience since we were out most days. It seemed like everyone else just left their tents unlocked with varying levels of belongings when they would go out. Theft isn’t an issue as far as I know. Anyway, we hiked Gem Lake trail the first day. On the second day we fished at the marina and Mary’s Lake with no luck. There was a lot of that going around. Since we fished at different locations and times, we did walk around downtown, and we visited the Estes Park Museum. We completed the Lily Mountain trail on the third day. All of these activities were free other than the one-day fishing license ($9) and the one-day parking permit at the marina ($5).

Overall, I had an enjoyable time at Estes Park. Fishing was kind of, eh, but I liked the campground, the hiking, the local history museum, and walking around the town. Other individuals may not find it such a romantic way to spend an anniversary, but I thought it was fine. It’s not like we didn’t hold hands while walking around town (we are those people). I liken hiking up a mountain, as a couple, to life’s random ascents and descents. My husband sacrificed himself so that I could have my fun. I don’t want to sound perverted, but our camping location resulted in a row of 3-4 couples in their twenties during that week. Basically, the nights were not that cold, quiet, or lonely. In the end, I would do it all again with better organization, longer hiking, and maybe with the company of our Goldendoodle. The poor Chihuahua wouldn’t make it…