Monday, June 27, 2011

Winkie Convention Countdown: 11 Days to Go

This is another I-don't-remember-which-year memory. It's also another one that's not about the Convention itself, but the trip. I only ever drove down there by myself once or twice, I think, and I may be getting some of the details mixed up, but in the early '90s, I had money, a car, and time, so I did it. One year, I had a whole bunch of tapes all ready to listen to — only to discover that my tape player wasn't working not long after I started off. Let's just say that I found an awful lot of different radio stations to listen to up and down the I-5 corridor, including OPB through much of Oregon. One year I also packed a whole case of cherry Coke and a whole box of peanut M&M's for the road. A friend of mine had access to some dry ice, and gave me a good sized chunk to throw in my cooler. Wow, that kept the Cokes cold all the way to the Monterey Peninsula. Some got so cold that they froze and burst open, and I ended up with some cherry Coke slushies. That is definitely a good thing to have while driving through the Sierra Nevadas in July in a car with no air conditioning. One of those trips I spent the night in a campground. I just pulled in, leaned my seat as far back as I could, had a pleasant night's sleep, and just got up and left early the next morning. In fact, I ended up getting to Asilomar so early that I couldn't find any fellow Oz fans! Usually there's someone hanging around on Friday. At one point, I panicked and feared that I'd gotten there on the wrong weekend! Finally, however, I found Peter Hanff, and he assured me that I was there at the right time. One of those trips on the way back I ended up staying at a friend's in Napa Sunday night, then took off right away for Seattle Monday morning. It ended up being a fourteen hour drive, but at least it worked better than the marathon my mother and I put in a few years earlier. There were a couple of times on that drive back that I started nodding off, but both times, a sign saying "Rest Stop One Mile" would loom up. So I would pull in, take a little catnap, and I was good to go again!

I don't think I could pull off one of those solo trips now, even if I wanted to. But being young and hearty has its advantages.

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