Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Come On And Take A Slow Drive

You know The Universe conspires against me, right? So when I'm in a hurry (rarely, because what else do I have to do), many roadblocks are placed along my journey. I mean LITERAL roadblocks.

Last week, I got a late start for town. I had several stops to make, and The Pony was waiting on me to get home so he could carry in groceries. I was also bringing him lunch. I didn't even leave the Mansion until 1:30.

Of course the mercurial MoDOT crew had decided to come back and work on a project they've been off-and-onning since the beginning of August. This time, they were pouring and smoothing a tiny blacktop shoulder (about 18 inches wide) on each side of the lettered state highway. They'd done the out-of-town side of the road a week prior.

So here I was, headed to town. Farmer H had sent me a text saying about where they were in their progress. I went out a different route, so as to come up behind them, rather than try to squeeze out at my regular junction where the shot-up stop sign stands.

There were signs warning of a one-lane road and a flagman. I came up behind a red car like A-Cad. But in front of it was a LOG TRUCK! Fully loaded! Not just fully loaded, but pulling a PUP! That's what Farmer H calls a half-truck hooked to a full-size truck. The pup was also fully loaded with logs. Those are tree trunks, people! Not little Lincoln logs.

A pace car (actually a pickup truck marked with MoDOT) came from over the hill, with 15 cars following it! The Pace Truck made a T-turn in the road behind me, passed me, and took its position in front of the log truck to lead us through the construction. It was about a mile. All across the big bridge high over the Big River (actual name).

While initially waiting for that Pace Truck to show up, I'd been trying to distract myself by planning what scratchers I would get, and where, and what items I might want to add to my shopping list. I hate waiting like that in a line of traffic. I feel trapped. It was on my own familiar road. I knew what was over the hill. But I was anxious. I didn't want to succumb to a panic attack. No rapid heartbeat and gasping for breath now! No. I would not allow myself to get to that place.

Scratchers always put me in a good place. So I was under control as I putt-putted along behind that red car like A-Cad. I couldn't see a darn thing because of that log truck and its pup, until we started over the bridge. It slopes downhill. Whew! Very little space to pass by the three big MoDOT trucks and the blacktop spreader and the blacktop roller that were parked on the bridge. We were in the opposing traffic lane. Almost to the end. And then we STOPPED! With me and T-Hoe about mid-bridge.

I looked in the mirror, and saw that two dump trucks had joined our convoy. Both loaded with rock! I don't know the weight limit of that bridge, but I'm pretty sure it hadn't been designed for all those heavy trucks at once, including loads of logs and rock!

Whew! Made it! I proceeded straight to the liquor store! For scratchers, silly. I don't recall if I had winners. If so, it was $10 or under, to be so unremarkable. I mailed some bills. Shopping went okay. I procured my magical elixir. Then I had to start back!

I knew the set-up. But I was still a little apprehensive. At least I was going home. With lunch and scratchers. Good times! But here we were, already stuck behind the construction crew. They were in front of the prison now, and halfway down the hill towards the bridge. 

Oh, this was great. A long line of traffic waiting for our turn. I was number 13 in the line. Numbers 7 and 9 were giant hay wagons. Flatbed trailers, each holding 8 giant rolled bales of hay. Six on the bottom layer, 2x2x2, and two more balanced on top of that layer. Most of the others were passenger cars or trucks. Not such a heavy load for the bridge. But the hay wagons could hardly squeeze across, with their bales having about 2 inches clear on each side, between the MoDOT trucks and the metal rail of the bridge.

It is not a journey I would like to embark upon again.

Slow Drive

Slow drive, make me wheezy
Slow drive, make me wheezy
Slow drive, make me wheezy
Slow drive, make me wheezy

I'm in no mood
The timing is tight
Let's get this moving
Or I'll have a fright

Oh, slow drive. Make me wheezy
Slow drive. Make me wheezy...


River said...

If only you could have stayed home just that one day. I hate sitting in traffic that isn't moving and I don't even drive. I'm a passenger so should be able to take the time to catch up on a few chapters, but I get antsy with the waiting so I can't read.

Sioux Roslawski said...

As always, I have the solution. I know how you can make sure you avoid those middle-of-the-day jaunts.

Do you know what my always-offered solution is?

Hillbilly Mom said...

I also get that way when Farmer H has to stop his sweaving to wait in a line of traffic, even though I have a book open on my lap.

Yes. And that ain't happening! I am NOT retiring from retirement!