You ought to know you’re heading towards trouble when…

Its raining and pouring and beneath your tyres there seems to be no splashing.
Yeah sure there’s no water. But there’s ice.
This was the most important lesson I learnt yesterday after I rented a car for the first time.
It had been 2 months since I had last driven a car. That had been in the crowded streets of Meerut , the hyper busy Uttaranchal-Delhi highway which can be the best possible training in how erratic traffic can get.
I had to go some 15 miles away to rent a car. How I got there I just don’t know. It was a combination of multiple bus rides, in multiple directions, foot-walks across lawns and parks, and a completly random arrival at the address of the rental agency. It was anything but the shortest path.
The renting-guy was in quite a hurry and handed me the keys to a Mitsubishi Lancer ( courtesy Microsoft) and I happily headed to the car. Automatic transition,which is supposed to make things really easy, but it took me a while to figure out how I had to get around to moving the stick, and like many troubles the solution was found by a phone call to a school friend 🙂  The absence of a clutch felt like a loss of control  though. It felt less like a car and more like a gokart.
Well I was in luck. For I was parked right next to the highway towards Redmond. So I just had to head back right.
Well it was just 6pm. There was a long evening and the night time ahead. And after all these ages , I had a car!
Maybe it would be fun to just head further off from Redmond , go for a 20-30 mile drive and head back after a while ?
The mind said *no* .  It was not the most sensible thing to do. Definitely not for someone who’s used to driving in a place
which is so dry and barren as a desert that there’s never been a drop of water disrupting the view thru the windshield.
And, on a cold rainy wintery Seattle night, when the roads are so slippery, and even the streetlights are goin off,you should be
heading home to bed. But the heart said *yeah* go ahead have a nice drive , In any case you’ve got to drive 15 miles to get
home, it really wont matter if u drive another 15-20 more for fun. I generally do what my mind tells me to and not the heart.
But this was an exception. Forbidden fruit is certainly the sweetest and a nice little drive on a high speed freeway was an
understandable temptation. 
And so I began my journey in the opposite direction. And it wasn’t as straight a path as I had expected. So I made random
decisions at every fork and enjoyed my drive for a while. Till I realized that I was now pretty clueless about where I had reached.
Every fork/crossing/exit in this area looks pretty much similar so there’s no concept of taking a note of ‘landmarks’ out here at
least not for a stranger. Yeah the wheels and brakes were slipping. The roads were slippery and sloping.

And the windshied was wet and frosty.
My journey paused for a while. Now I looked around the place. There were the Issaquah mountains on one
side. The mischief maker in my mind came back to work again.  I had come all this way. Might as well take a nice enjoyable drive
through the hills as well. Whether you’re lost at Point-A or Point-B it really doesn’t matter because lost is lost … So might as well
remain lost for a while at Point-B instead of Point-A if it looks more interesting ? And so I started going up in the hills . And it started
to rain and pour. But there was no splashing under my tyres so I felt pretty ok. Till I saw the reason why. The roads were more white
than grey. And , a few hundred yards ahead of me, were a bunch of abandoned cars, with their wheels jammed in ice.
So it was obviously time to retreat. As I started my jourey ‘homewards’ , the streetlights were off , the traffic lights were off, and even I
was pretty much clueless about where I was heading. Anyways, after a little more aimless wandering in circles and spirals, stopping at
Gas stations,burger joints etc,and a total of a 40 mile journey for the 15 mile one which was required, I finally landed up where I needed to 🙂
Home sweet home and a good night’s sleep ….. with the satisfaction of a random exploration (of a small part of) 
what the beautiful Pacific Northwest has to offer…………..zzzzzzzzzzzz………..
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