Monday, June 20, 2016

Just A Rant


This week has been one of desperation and exasperation. I went out, an innocent lamb to the slaughter.  Okay, let me tell you tales of horror. LOL.

I went up near the Detroit area last week to visit my youngest son and his wife to babysit their twins so they could attend a dance banquet for the eldest daughter - a six-year-old

It is summer time and of course, every road is under construction - for miles! I can take the south route (low road) or the north route (high road) but... wait.  They are both under construction at about the same area so the idea of taking one to avoid the other is a moot point.  Oh, wait, I could slip around the whole mess by taking a road headed north before I got the construction.

Silly me.  That road was under construction, too.  Well, I was committed to this road when I discovered the construction. Therefore, a quick dido might be the best answer. Wrong again. A left turn here, a right turn there, a couple of each and finally I was in an area I recognized. A little further and I was able to eliminate another construction area and I was clear of the big city and headed on to my destination.

Wait.  This road was taking me back away so I had to cut across the countryside to catch another highway to get me up to Detroit.  No problem. (So he thought.)  Speeding down the backroad and I see the flashing lights.  No, not the police.  In front of me is a tractor on the country road. It was chugging along at a snail's pace and there was NO way to get around it.  Did the young driver think to look in his rear-view mirror for traffic?  Nope!  He was getting down in the cab with his headphones on so the loud tractor with the immensely wide row of plows didn't bother him. No on-coming traffic and I couldn't pass him - the plow went from side of road to side of road. He really should have had them tipped up, but...

THREE agonizing miles at the breakneck speed of almost 10mph, he finally turned off into a field.

We finally got to my son's house before they had to leave.  We allowed almost 3 hours to make a 90-minute drive.  It took over 2 hours.  Therefore, visiting with them before they left was a lost cause. They assumed the banquet would be over early and they'd be home by 8pm, 9pm for sure.  They didn't get home until almost 10pm.  For us, no biggie since the twins, 14 months old, decided to call it an early evening and went to sleep without too much effort on our behalf.

We headed home the next day after an enjoyable visit.  We had a 1pm meeting and again, we allowed ourselves 3 hours to travel the distance.

About 40 miles from home, I thought we had it 'in the bag' ... we'd arrive almost 30 minutes before the meeting - but I was wrong.  I turned onto a connecting highway between the "high" road and "low" road.

Are you ready?  More flashing light.  Still, not the police.  Seems they decided to 'sweep' the highway and the big rig was moving along at ... okay, it was so slow we were passed by a kid on a bicycle as he cycled leisurely down the road licking a popsicle.  Actually, we were going so slow I was on idle - my foot was on the brake, not the gas, and I had to keep applying the brakes because I was moving too fast.  YUP!  It was THAT slow.  There was a county or state truck behind the sweeper with its caution lights flashing.  Behind that (and in front of me) was another truck who, for some reason, felt it unnecessary to pass.  The road is 3 lanes.  The lane going north, the lane going south, and a turn lane between them. For the one-mile strip, there is absolutely NO place to turn left or right from the highway.  Why is there a turn lane?  I have no idea, but it was there. But I figure, at about 1mph, no faster than 3mph, I had the right to pass.

Exasperated, I finally gunned my motor and, using the turning lane, passed the two trucks and sweeper at an outrageous speed of 20, almost 25mph.  Was it legal?  I don't know.  I might get a ticket in the mail and, if so, I will address the issue at that time.

I was ahead of schedule, but due to the sweeper, I fell behind and we were 5 minutes late for our meeting.  Not so bad, but we'd called to let them know we were running late.  I didn't mention that I was racing through the countryside in an attempt to gain back some time. If I hadn't raced, we probably would have been about 30 minutes late.

Oh, I forgot about the one car I had before me on the country road. She would stop at the stop signs. That's a good thing. She would left, look right, inch ahead, look left, look right, look left and finally cross the intersection.  Of course, I could not pass her due to poor timing of on-coming traffic. She did this at 3 different intersections.  Even my wife wondered why she spent so much time looking left and right to ascertain traffic.  Uh, you could see left and right at these stop intersections for over a mile in each direction. There was nothing coming either way.  We only had on-coming traffic and never met one of those vehicles at any intersection.

Yes, it was a trip of tension.  The only trips I can claim to be worse is when we decide to travel through Houston, Texas.  For me, my last 4 trips through the construction there have all been white-knuckle events. We (my wife, her brother and his wife, and me) now plan our trip to Corpus Christi to avoid Houston. I'm the only one 'dumb' enough to drive through Houston. They won't even attempt it.

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