Monday, April 26, 2010

Field Trip Revisited

I'm not sure why I take random days off with no discernible plan. I suppose I just like the idea of not having to get up at 4:45 and sleeping in until 5:30, and then taking my time before showering. That's got to be it because the rest of the day off generally just drags on.

Today I decided to take a field trip. At first I thought I'd go to the beach, but then I looked at a couple of webcams and the weather looked sketchy. I don't mind the wind and stormy rain at the beach if I'm actually in a hotel room watching it, but it kind of sucks when you are in your car and can't get out and walk without facing a wet and uncomfortable drive back to civilization. So the next idea was to find the Walmarts in St. Helens. Some of you may recall another field trip to the Walmarts in McMinnville a while back. Apparently the shock of that one had worn off and I was curious yet again to explore. I honestly wonder who I am sometimes.

So St. Helens. It's out in Columbia County off Highway 30 and roughly 66 miles from Astoria. I thought that if the weather looked at all promising or the Walmarts wasn't exciting enough that maybe I'd keep going west to Astoria, where I haven't been in maybe 20 years. Plans always seem to be so easy in my head. And then I get behind the wheel and realize they never go like they should.

I left the house at around 10 and took the back way toward Hillsboro. You can take that majorly fucked up Cornelius Pass Road to get to Highway 30, and there's a tanning salon over that way, so I went and tanned first and then hit Cornelius Pass. My good God I hate that road. I can't even imagine what it would be like in any kind of remotely inclement weather. The pavement was bone dry and I seriously feared for my life on several occasions. Would it kill somebody to put up a guard rail or two? And like make it illegal for big gigantic trucks to travel on it? Every time you hear about something horrific having happened on Cornelius Pass Road it's the result of either a big gigantic truck doing something stupid or somebody careening off the side of a cliff because there was no guard rail to break their fall. Good Lord. It's like five miles of near death. I just hate it.

So okay. Get to Highway 30 and take a left. My friend Marshy lives just past Scappoose now so I am somewhat familiar, and St. Helens is roughly seven miles past that. Or fifteen. I wasn't paying attention. I figured once I got to St. Helens it would be obvious where the Walmarts is, so I just kept driving west. And see, just like in McMinnville, and that time I went to the Target in Wilsonville, big signs advertising the store are completely lost on me. By the time I realized that I had gone too far I was already going into the mountain passes that would take me to the beach. I wasn't really ready for that, so I flipped a bitch in the middle of the road, pulled over and pulled out my trusty iPhone. Which failed me completely.

What I failed to realize is that St. Helens, the main part of it, I guess, isn't right on the highway. Apparently you have to turn toward the river to get to the bulk of it. Who knew? So I went back to St. Helens and turned left into something that looked like a main road, and proceeded to do a tour of the town at roughly 9 miles per hour. Which began to irritate me. And then it began to irritate me that I couldn't find the flipping Walmarts, when how big could this town be? And how about some signage? I finally found an address and a map, and realized that I'd driven past it miles ago. So as is the norm for me on a field trip, I back tracked a few miles and finally found it.

It was horrible.

Even the outside of it was a mess. Seriously. What is with stores like Walmarts that can't keep their place clean? I honestly considered giving up on my now ridiculous sounding quest just based on what it looked like from outside, but I really had to use the restroom. So I parked and limped in (I limped because I had been driving around for so long that my ankle stiffened up, but nobody noticed because pretty much the place was filled with people limping around with various degrees of state subsidized disabilities. Obviously.). Inside was just as dirty. I just honestly do not get a supermarket or department store or ANYplace where they sell shit that doesn't run a mop across the floor once in a while. Just filthy. Really all I wanted was a needle and thread and I figured if I was going to go on a field trip to Walmarts I might as well get them there, I didn't really need anything else, and it was just supposed to be a mini adventure and not some ridiculous challenge of finding a filthy store in some podunk town in Columbia County.

So I took a lap, found the thread ($1.57 for ten spools and three bonus needles) (plus $25 worth of gas. Never mind.), bought some diet A&W root beer, and checked out. Got the hell out of dodge and did NOT take Cornelius Pass Road back because it had started to rain. It was like 2:30 by the time I hit home, so you can imagine how lost I was, and how far away, and I've decided that the next time I want to do a field trip to a Walmarts it's not going to be in some stupid little town heading toward the beach.

I don't know what my fixation for the Walmarts is. I mean, I have Target. Target's clean, and close by, and just as inexpensive. I don't know why I feel the need to stray, but sometimes I do. I guess I'm only human. And the only way to learn your lesson is to wallow in that filth once in a while.

Tomorrow I'm considering not even leaving the house.

3 Comments:

At 2:11 PM, April 27, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To visit the grave site in Clatskanie, I have to take Cornelius Pass Rd. to Hwy. 30. You are so right on, CPR. is a death wish waiting to happen. Should anything happen to me on that road, well, I was headed towards the cemetery anyway and there is one space left. Can you imagine that narrow, twisted, ugly road in the snow!!!

 
At 2:16 PM, April 30, 2010, Anonymous Kim S said...

Hey we still need to go to Walmart in Woodburn! It can't be as bad as the one in St. Helens, it just can't...

 
At 8:20 PM, May 02, 2010, Blogger Cece said...

HA
HA
HA - I Hate that road too - god, the aimless wandering is so familiar to me..

 

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