Yesterday my wife and I got an early start and jumped into the packed car waiting for us in the garage to carry us on our road trip to Pittsburgh. It was a pleasant trip for a variety of reasons.
First, my wife and puppy were going with me so I wasn’t looking forward to a lonely week of teaching during the day and watching NCIS reruns on USA at night eating cruddy food while time drags on until I get to go back home. Instead, I get to go home to the family every night almost like we’re on vacation.
Second, we got an early start! I usually procrastinate and don’t leave until it’s at a point where I have to rush to get to the hotel so I can get a couple of hours sleep, instead we had a leisurely drive and I wasn’t even that stressed out when we got held up for an hour by a jack knifed big rig! That was actually an interesting story, we crested a hill and as we looked across the valley about a mile across, we saw traffic stopped going up the other side. When we got there we sat. Realizing we were probably going to be there a while, I turned on the hotspot and began surfing the net. After a bit I decided to take the dog for a walk so she could relieve herself. As I got out, I noticed a couple of truckers out of their rigs talking and headed in their direction. The informed me that the cause was a jack knifed big rig and they had heard he broke his tank and spilled diesel. He said, “If that’s true, that means HazMat has to come out and we’re going to be here for HOURS!” I had already seen a few cars turn around and go back on the shoulder and decided that’s what I was going to do. So I climbed back into my car and headed back to the last exit (about 2 miles back) down the shoulder of the freeway in the wrong direction. I quickly caught up to another car that was doing the same thing, but more cautiously than me so we slowed our pace. We arrived at a bridge about 150 yards long where the shoulder didn’t exist. The car in front of me chickened out and turned around to head back, but not me! No way, I was going. So we sat and waited about three minutes I saw my opening and went for it. We made it without breaking a sweat, although I have to admit that both the wife and I didn’t like doing this. It took a long time to go those two miles back to our exit where, fortunately, there was a place to cross the median and get on the right side of the freeway just before our exit.
So, now that we were on the right side of the road, we took the exit and I took a moment to tell the GPS to avoid that little stint of freeway and get our new course. We made a right and headed down our new path. Then the wife informed me that she needed to use the facilities, urgently. So we stopped at the next gas station and took care of business. I had to rearrange a few things in the back and then I went in to use the facilities as well and when I came out my wife was chatting with the girl behind the counter who informed her that the route we were about to take also had a “hijacked” big rig. She further informed my wife that the “hijacked” rig on the freeway we were just on cleared and traffic was moving. So, we decided to head out on our original path. When we did get back to where we had turned around, there was some traffic, but it was slowly moving. After about 5 more minutes we were back to full speed.
At around 5:10pm we arrived at our hotel and got checked in. We unpacked and organized our stuff and settled in for the evening. It was so nice to have hours to spend relaxing and making sure everything was ready for the first day of class.
All in all, it is nice to have the Mrs. with me and have a working vacation! I’ve babbled on enough, have a good day!