Saturday, 16 May 2015

Oops, I Made Another Mistake

I make mistakes; we all make mistakes. Sometimes mine have a consequence somewhat larger than others, thanks to my life in a wheelchair. Yesterday was a great example, not only of the impact of a decision gone wrong, but also of how, when needed, I can still dig deep into my inner well of reserve energy, and get the job done.

Yesterday I left Lincoln City with no real plan for the end of the day. I thought I might dawdle my way down the Oregon coast, stopping here and there to enjoy the scenery. My intent was to get to either Crescent City or even Eureka, stopping there for the night. I left the hotel late, at about 11:30 AM, and then spent about a half hour getting myself some coffee and a breakfast sandwich. I finally, really, headed south at about noon.

There were plenty of stops, plenty of pictures. I had, so I thought, plenty of time. As I made my way down the coast, it became more and more evident that I would arrive in Crescent City sometime around 6:00 PM. When I rolled into town, I called a few local motels and hotels to get a wheelchair room.

It was in these phone calls that I was reminded of a road lesson I had forgotten. Friday is a busy day for all motels and hotels, especially in tourist areas. Senior citizens make up a large part of the touring population. Senior citizens book handicapped rooms more often than most other people. Senior citizens tend to stop earlier in the day, often before dinner. In short, here was not a wheelchair accessible room to be had in Crescent City.

Eureka is about 90 minutes from Crescent City. If I just hit the road I would make it there by about 8:300 PM.  So I took my cue from Marilyn Monroe, who once famously said "It's amazing how often 'ah, what the hell' is the right answer", or something like that. I hit the road again, headed south into the darkening evening.

It was when I arrived in Eureka that I discovered it was graduation weekend, not just for Humbolt University, bur for the College of the Redwoods as well. There was no room, at least no wheelchair room, in any of the inns in that dear town. The closest I could get was a Motel6 smoking room for $112, or a Super8 standard room for $180. The rest were upwards of $300, and none had handicapped access.

Ukiah was the nearest place of any consequence down the road. It was also about 4 hours away. Once again I invoked the spirit of Marilyn. Once again I hit the road. It was on this section of the drive that I sucked it up, and got the drive done. I arrived in Ukiah and got a room at the Quality Inn for $80, a perfect room with a roll in shower and all the bars in the right places. I warned them ahead that it would be a late checkout, and here I am.

I made a mistake, I should have booked ahead. I will probably do it again; it's in my nature to say "ah, what the hell". However I did book my room in San Francisco already.

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