Wednesday, February 24, 2010

South on I-15

I went to L.A. once again this past weekend. I took with me a pair of jeans, two shirts, a change of underwear, shoes, my toothbrush, floss, shaving cream, shaver, and alarm clock. Sadly, what I failed to pack into my under-filled duffle bag, was any sort of plan. I hit the snowy road at 6:30am on the 27th of February, only knowing but two things: I'd have road underneath my tires and Provo at my back.

I am not a Provo-hater.

I do, however, feel the need to see new things. And this weekend I felt the need to see open road, followed by populated city-scape. I drove early Saturday into, through, and out of heavy Utah snow storms. I nearly lost my life approaching Cedar City, as my tires became skis and my car spun haphazardly out of control down 100 yards of freeway. Luckily, it was early and the road was empty. All I could say while fishtailing at 70 mph down the freeway was, "Oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please." Experiences--it's what life is about.

After 10 long hours of driving in snow and sun, mountain and vale, dirt and Vegas, I arrived in the City of Angels. Oddly, it wasn't until this point in the trip that I realized the costly error I had made in failing to prepare any sort of schedule. I parked my car in a parking lot, and looked for a long while at the approaching sunset. After about 10 minutes, I asked myself, "well, now what?"

Fortunately, I had grabbed the address of the LA temple minutes before jettisoning my apartment that morning. I drove to the temple and was blown away by its awesome majesty--rising up out of the city over Santa Monica. I grabbed a bag of bagels from the store, some condiments and snacks (total=$11), and felt sustained for the weekend. I changed from street clothes to shirt and tie, grabbed my temple garb, and walked through the huge, brass doors leading inside.
The interior beauty of the LA temple helped throw me into a mood of contemplation and introspection. There is something about beholding beauty, that causes you to stop for a moment and reconsider. I consider things on a frequent basis, as a rule, but something beautiful helps me reconsider the basis on which I frequently view them.

I left the temple feeling reimbursed for my drive, and was once again hit with the matter of, "what now?" I left Santa Monica, drove to a town near the I-15 Northbound freeway, found an empty parking, and began my preparation for a night in my car.

I lasted 2 hours.

I started in the front seat. Moved to the passenger seat. Resorted to the back seat. I learned that a compact car is no place for a 6 ft.+ man/woman to set up shop and try to sleep. I finally fell asleep as rain pounded the windshield, only to wake thirty minutes later, wide-awake, to silence. I climbed out of the back seat, a bit irked by the eerie ambiance of 3am L.A., and made a quick decision to bag the trip, and start back to Provo. An upset stomach was my main argument. I had planned on traveling to Santa Barbara the next day (sorry sister), but didn't want my surprise visit to just be a burden.

I drove back early Sunday morning. About the time I was exiting Vegas, the sun was rising and I'd had enough time to glean a little something from my short trip. I felt very dry--like I was lacking some necessary nourishment-and not in a bodily sense. I looked back over the weekend and realized that I had had no contact with another person. The closest I came to conversing with someone, was in the temple, as I told the man sitting next to me I wasn't going to sit directly next to him, so-as to give us a 'buffer zone'. Essentially, the only human-to-human contact I had, was telling another human that I didn't want too much human-to-human contact going on.

People are good. I missed not talking with people. I am not as big of an isolationist as I originally thought. So if you think that a weekend without people is fun--reconsider. I would much rather spend my saturdays and sundays doing nothing yet surrounded by people, than doing something surrounded by no one.


  1. (a) that is one thing I am not lacking in my life- alone time. but I find that being alone is overrated sometimes. being needed/desired/loved is never overrated. (b) at least come and sleep on our very uncomfortable floor- actually we have an air mattress- even better- flat bed in the morning. (c) you would NEVER EVER be a burden. Promise. I love your crazy surprise visits. Carter loves beating you up- and you love hanging out with our completely boring selves. It's a win-win situation (kind of).

    ps- I would NEVER do that drive just for fun. It nearly kills me every time. You are my hero.

    pss- Call me.

  2. You would be a burden to Hilary - trust me. Bryce

  3. Ryan, I like you. I'm sorry we missed your send-off last night, but we're sick, again. I was hoping to bring some borsche or vereniki over so those foreign tastes wouldn't be so unfamiliar. O, well.... Best wishes in the Ukraine. I'm sure you'll savor the experience, you seem like a savorer. When you come home, come over and share your stories. Cheers!

  4. Yay for LA! I love that you just up and left. Awesome. PS- really, thank you so much for your comments on my blog post about that anonymous comment. It irked me and I tried my best to write a well thought-out post - thanks for your support. It is greatly appreciated, as is your opinion.

  5. Is this the same weekend you came by Azusa and didn't show your face! You silly, & seriously, you have couches open in LA.. let's be honest. haha But, I have to admit, you would do this, this adventure alone, a soul search if you will. I like it, ha although I also like that you realized how much you do need people ;) hah good thoughts Ry.