Sunday, April 03, 2005

Freight Hauler Dave Part 2

Hey,It's me freight hauler Dave and Ricky. That's right were taking a load to the East Coast. Let me tell you about some of the experiences I had along the way

Ricky with his load of freight.

We, Ricky and I, left Omaha about 7:00 AM on Monday April 18th and headed out to Kansas City. Then taking the by pass we were on our way to St. Louis. 7 hours into the trip we are closing down on the great town of St. Louis. Just at the point of complicated maneuvers from one interstate to another then right away to another, a city police car comes racing past the traffic flow with lights flashing and his siren blasting. Sure enough another mile down the road a wreck had shut down the entire side of the interstate. So now three lanes of interstate traffic including 18 wheelers were funneled down the river front streets of St. Louis. I could have slapped the rump of one of the Clydesdale horses as I passed the Busch Brewery and then touched the Arch on the other side of the road.

Anyway the mapqwest directions are now out the window and I'm driving freelance through the heart of St. Louis along with a bzillion other cars and trucks. As we stopped and stopped and stopped and went at an incredibly slow pace, I began planning my strategy to get back on the interstate I needed to get across Illinois. Following the signs I managed to get back on course after a good hour to hour and a half. Ricky and I were just getting up to interstate speed when what to my wondering eyes did appear but a road sign informing me that for the next 27 miles the road would be under construction. They weren't kidding either.

It took another 7 hours just to get through St. Louis and Illinois. Right around sun down I am crossing the Ohio River. I didn't know that this river was so big. It's probably close to a mile across where I crossed. The Lord blessed me with a view of the big golden yellow sun setting on the river. I didn't think it a good idea to be fussing with a camera on a bridge in the middle of three lanes of traffic. The trees were to tall to get a good view of the river and sun after leaving the bridge. That will have to just be a memory picture.

Now Ricky and I are in the great state of Kentucky. If you have never been through a Kentucky bug storm you just haven't lived. I'm talking bugs big enough to give Nebraska birds a run for the money. When they Kathunk on the window it leaves a 3 to 4 inch splat. After 30 minutes, I had to stop just to get the bugs off the windshield. As we made our way up away from the Ohio river valley the bug storm ceased and we sped our way to another great state of Tennessee.

I noticed that Tennessee must love to blow up things because almost every exit had a permanent year round fireworks store. I made it to Nashville about 10:00 PM and needed to stop for gas. I'm feeling pretty good and am thinking about just continuing on into the night but I'm not sure. So I throw out the fleece. Lord if you show me a place to stay for $25.00 then I'll stop. Well, wouldn't you know a mile or so down the road is a big sign sticking up for $25.99 a night. I wheel my rig off the next exit and find a station to fill up with gas. While I'm filling up, I'm beginning to notice that there sure was a lot of loud rap music coming the other cars in the station. As I begin to take account of my surroundings I would say that I was probably the only white guy for miles around. So I expanded my surveillance to the surrounding neighborhood since the 25.00 an night Inn was just up the street. Well, let me say that north Omaha would be probably considered somewhat of a resort area for these folks. So I immediately got back in touch with the Lord and said, "Lord, I said for you to show me a place for $25.00 as a sign to stop, but I only said I would stop if You showed me a place, that doesn't mean that I have to stay there does it?" Now I know some of you would be thinking that I'm really on the edge of bargaining with God. I also think He gave me this gray haired wisdom for a reason as well, so I packed it up and skidalled out of there. Down the road a few more exits I found a place for $35.00. It was called, the Knight's Inn. So Warrior Dave spent the night at the Knight's Inn. I thought that just as much a sign as the $25.00. So Ricky and I bed down after in one day being in 6 states (Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee) and crossing over 3 major rivers (Missouri, Mississippi, and Ohio), we considered it a good day.

This is actually a picture of a place similar to the place I staid, but this picture was obviously taken on the way home without our load.

So the next morning Ricky and I are up bright and early. Ok, it was 7:00 AM, but the sun was shining brightly. I had my terrific Continental breakfast of Fruit Loops and toasted white bread with a coffee chaser. We on the road again heading toward Georgia. Georgia I see has a definite love for the waffle house one is never more than 5 minutes away from a Waffle House. From Nashville to Atlanta the interstate is a continuous 6 lane interstate. As we get close to Atlanta it gets to be 8 lanes then 10 lanes then 12 lanes. I think at the biggest point it was a full sixteen lanes wide. I going through Atlanta about 10:00 AM so the morning rush must be over, but there were tons of traffic just the same. I'm trying to be the good Christian and drive the 55 MPH speed limit. I didn't mind the people flying by me and giving me the dirty looks and I didn't even mind the blast on the air horn from the trucker, but the last straw was when an Atlanta City Police car went cruising by with the flow of traffic and gave me a scowl. So I'm thinking, "OK, I will speed now and repent later." So there we are whizzing along at 65 to 70 MPH with the Atlanta City PD right in the middle of the pack. Very strange place this Atlanta.

We think in Nebraska that people cut us off in traffic. We have no idea what a cutoff is. The first time a car squeezed in the space in front of me with 2 feet between my bumper and his and the same for his front bumper and the car in front of him, this old Nebraska boy's heart skipped more than few beats. As I looked around at the flow of traffic it seemed to be normal driving for these parts of the country. Out of the eight lanes of traffic motoring along the outside two lanes of traffic seem to always be the no choice exit lanes. It gave me a new perspective of the traffic sign "Slower traffic keep right." I get the distinctive feeling that since they want the slower traffic in the right lanes, that it means if you are going to drive slow, get off.

Right outside of Atlanta, Ricky and I stopped to have lunch. He had 87 Octane and I had a nice southern fried chicken lunch. It was so nice to be able to order up two vegetables of choice to be fried Orka, and grits and not have the waitress think I was a weirdo. Cherry coke, one of my favorite drinks, came with real cherries in the drink. I love to listen to those southern gals talk. I had to have my waitress explain the daily specials again just to listen to her talk. All this would have been enough, but icing on the cake was to hear in the back ground lunch music Bill Monroe's version of "Blue Moon over Kentucky". For those who haven't a clue what that means, Bill Monroe is considered the Father of Bluegrass music and Blue Moon over Kentucky is one his classic Bluegrass songs. I just got to love these southern states.

After making it through Atlanta, the rest of the drive was a piece of cake. I arrived at the Piggly Wiggly store in Beaufort at about 3:00 PM on Tuesday so the trip took about 1 and a half days.

To be Continued

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