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The Road to the Lost Coast
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The Camp Mattole web site says that the drive through the Mattole Valley and the Lost Coast area provides "breathtaking scenery [that] allows visitors to experience one of America's most beautiful drives."

This is true.  It was breathtaking each time I went over a pothole as big as my car.  Look, I would think, a lovely grove of--damn!--another gigantic pothole.  When I went through the two stretches of road composed of dirt, dust, and sharp rocks, I thought America has some issues with its most beautiful drives. 

If they are growing a lot of pot in Humboldt county, then they need to start taxing it pronto and fix the roads.  In fact, I was later told by Corey the tow truck driver that I was lucky I didn't get out of my car and wander around looking for help with my tire.  I might have been greeted by a gun to the head instead.

So pot growers!  Support legalization and taxation on your product.  Then you can drive to work safely.

But here's the truth of the matter.  I'm ready for another car.  The MINI was really fun.  It is fun still.  It zips, it zings.  It flings itself around and about.  I can park pretty much anywhere, and I barely ever buy gas.  But it's just not a car for a person who wants to drive to the Lost Coast or, for that matter, buy a Christmas tree.  It's not a good car for bringing home top soil or mulch.  It is not great for having more than one passenger, and I think I've shaken my mother out of her skin while going to the movies. 

The MINI was a good car to buy in reaction to another, older life.  It was a good car to learn how to be Jessica Barksdale, sole owner of something in general.  I was never the washer of cars nor the waxer.  Nor the smog checker.  In fact, I was in abdication of all car responsibilities during my marriage.  The MINI helped me learn how to be a car adult.

And now I want an adult sized car, one with clearance, four wheel drive, and monster tires.  Okay, not the last thing.  But mostly everything else.

Maybe the road to the Lost Coast was a metaphor.  Maybe I have to adapt again.  I'm in a newer life than the life I was in when I bought the MINI.  Maybe my new life is a Subaru Outback.  Or a Toyota Tacoma.  Or maybe I don't need to throw out the MINI but get a beater truck, one for trips to the Lost Coast or to Home Depot.  Maybe I need to add not divide.  Maybe I need fuller not lesser.

We will see.

Jessica

Comments
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I feel ya. . .

I am the recent owner of a Mini Cooper Clubman. I do think the extra inches pack a lot of storage and room the traditional Mini doesn't have; I have more legroom in the Mini than my mini-van and I'm right at 6 ft tall and all legs. I love the zipping and the flamboyance (my husband has gotten stopped twice in it and it's MINE).

That said, there is a practicality that it lacks. I've already wondered about more room-- maybe one of those funky looking Honda Elements, but then again, it's nice not have a lot of room to have to clean up. Everything is within arms reach and I can do a swoop through every time I get out of the car. We have the minivan and a decrepit Volvo wagon to fall back on for crowds or big loads.

And we're like a band of happy Harley Riders out there . . . Mini drivers wave and smile and nod.

Oh, and mine has the "magic tires" that refill themselves and you get free roadside service forever. Maybe you should just get a NEW Mini.

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Hi, Becky-- I see the answer

Hi, Becky--

I see the answer in your reply.  You have other cars to jump into!  That's the secret, especially when traveling to wild parts hitherto unknown.  Minivan!  Volvo wagon!  I'm in.

thanks for the MINI pep talk, and I'm sure I will blog more when I make a decision about the MINI-ness of my life.

Best,

J

Jessica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com

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Mini vs New Beetle

I have a Y2K Bug (remember the millenium frenzy about computers locking up and destroying the world?) that was really the first car I ever solely owned. I drove around and around a roundabout at the car dealership when I first got it - smiling big and singing with my daughter. It has acres of headroom, legroom, trunk space AND you can see out of the windows. Which you can't do very well with a Mini (convertible rented in Hawaii).

I rented a red Mini on Oahu on my last vaycay there. My daughter got to drive it and said "Wheeeeeeee!" a lot. It's very zippy, feels every bump, every pebble, and was perfect for Hawaii in spite of that.

I love my Beetle (named Betty Bluep because she's blue and says bloop! when I lock her up) to pieces. I think the Mini was prolly not the best car for the Lost Coast - I remember seeing a lot of mini trucks roaring around - so that was unfortunate. I can't see you in an Element. I can see you in a convertible, though, very easily. Hmmmmm....

Corey was an invaluable find in spite of all the rest you endured. Maybe your Mini conjured him up?

Cheers,
Christine

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My MINI is named Tiny, and

My MINI is named Tiny, and no, she was not the best thing to bring.  But, frankly, unlike Lynne who wrote, I have no options.  And that's what I need!

You capture that feeling of doing something on one's own that I felt with buying my car.  But now may be time to do it all over again.  I drove an Outback all around the south one summer, and it was great, though not a  "wheee" or sexy car.  That could be okay.

Corey was truly a gift.  Thank the road gods!

Best,

J

Jessica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com