Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Night Driving

Today is a rest day, a recovery day from yesterday, when I did a 12 hour push from Vancouver to Calgary in my truck. That drive included a stop off to see my Mom, and an enforced half hour lay over in Kamloops while getting my truck checked out. The "Check Engine" light came on as I headed down the big hill into town. Turns out it was an O2 sensor on the exhaust manifold; nothing serious. In fact about two hours later the sensor recovered and the light went off.

A rest day doesn't necessarily mean I get a rest. I'm tired, that's for sure. I could definitely go back to bed and spend the afternoon there. However there is laundry to be done, things to be tidied and put away. This morning, Home Care was here to help me shower and do my exercises. There is definitely no rest for this wicked. Still, I am at home, sitting in my wheelchair, drinking a cup of coffee and certainly feeling no sense of responsibility for anything in particular.

I have to admit to being kind of proud of myself. Other than a short stretch between Merritt and Kamloops, I was in good shape for the whole drive. That short stretch was between 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM, a time of day when exhaustion usually hits me hard. Fortunately the stop at the Ford shop to get that sensor checked out meant I had a half hour break, an interruption which enervated me more than anything.

What this shows is two separate things. First of all, I can still make the drive. I can still take the wheel of my truck for a long haul day, making miles as needed. It's a nice thing to know that this is still well within my capabilities. Second, my tiredness between 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM is so pronounced that this will become a rest period for me on all road trips from now on, with at least a half hour break in there somewhere.

On this trip I found I particularly enjoyed the night time driving; the lack of traffic, the absence of line ups for services. I don't mind driving in the dark; my night vision is still excellent, good enough to see a deer grazing on the verge of the opposite side of the road through my peripheral vision using only the side cast from the truck's headlights. This has not been taken from me, and likely will not be for a long time.

It's good that I can still drive. Getting into the truck, however, has become a major difficulty. That, it anything, is what will stop me. For now, I have Katherine's help, but that limits me to travel with her, or someone else to give me a boost. Maybe that's not such a bad thing.


  1. The night is the perfect time. You are a social person, but you're also a person who likes the outdoors so I can see where you would like the night. I thought most social people would prefer days to nights, and you probably do prefer days, but nights are perfect for driving.

    Comforting isn't it that you can drive when you feel like it. Getting out there is as important as getting rest, albeit you need rest to get out there.

  2. Have you ever been told you couldn't drive or do a certain thing because you're disabled.