Mom and I ate a late lunch in a cool, dark restaurant in Bolivar Heights, above the town of Harpers Ferry. We were both dehydrated from hiking in the 95-degree weather.
"What time do you have to go home?"
I shrugged. "Whenever. It's going to be a tough drive. I'm so tired."
I could leave now, or I could leave in the evening. Either way, the four-hour drive was going to be a battle of my willpower versus the exhausting power of the sun.
Mom thought for a moment. What would we do? We aren't really all that excited about shopping and it was too hot to wander around Harpers Ferry, which is an open-air town/museum.
Then I had an idea.
"How far are we from Dinosaur Land?"
Mom brightened. We'd stopped outside Dinosaur Land on Thanksgiving, but it had been closed. The last time we'd gone in had been about 40 years ago.
"I passed it on the way in. And then you'll be right next to I-81, and can drive home that way. Let's go."
And go we did, following Route 340 as it wound back and forth between Virginia and West Virginia. The drive was longer than I'd expected it to be, but finally, the neck of the rescinded-brontosaurus and a T-rex rose above the horizon.
We pulled in to the parking lot and Mom got out of her car.
"Um, wait a minute."
I stood up and motioned down at my soaking wet shorts.
"I have to change my clothes."
My 1990 Ford Taurus did have air conditioning when Turbo and I acquired it in Torrance, CA, on April 22, 2002 (my criteria being that I was a Taurus and it was my birthday, since I figured that buying a used car is a total crapshoot). But somewhere in mid-America, the a/c had broken. Turbo thought he'd fix it with some epoxy from Walmart. This was as effective as one might imagine, but Henry made his dissatisfaction known in an unexpected exploding sort of way, one day when I was driving alone.
I'd tried to get the a/c fixed a few times, but the estimates to fix an botched repair job far exceeded the initial estimate we'd gotten in 2002 prior to the Walmart disaster, and so I sweated.
And now, I crouched behind the wheel and slipped a skirt on over my shorts. This sounds lithe and breezy, but changing in place when wet is actually kind of tough.
The things we do for Dinosaur Land.