I really like to drive, for the most part. I say “for the most part” because last night was a harrowing experience.
After dropping my daughter off at church, my wife and I headed across town so she could do some grocery shopping. To get to our stores, we had to go through the center of our town.
At the moment, this area is a mess. There is construction galore. As a result, on a busy Friday night in a university village, there is a huge bottleneck.
Our first stop was a small shop on the edge of a T-intersection. To leave and go further across town, one has to cross over a four-lane road and turn left. It is usually pretty tricky to make this crossing, but at this hour it was well-nigh impossible.
So I turned right, with the intention of turning around. Unfortunately, it was difficult to even do that. But finally, we made the U.
Heading back into the mess, I decided to go through the side neighborhoods instead of venturing down Main Street with its multitude of traffic lights and slow moving traffic. Big mistake.
First, I was almost plowed into by a driver running a stop sign (most likely a drunken student!). Second, in the dark, I got lost and ended up circling and circling through this neighborhood.
My nerves were already shot after a long and hard work week. However, with the traffic, the confusion and the near accident, by the time we reached our destination, I was a mess.
It isn’t always like this when I drive, though. As I said, I enjoy getting behind the wheel. I have had some memorable road trips.
I once drove from Reno to Baltimore with my father. We got to know each other a lot better on that trip.
I actually began my driving career with my Dad at around the age of 17. He took me out for a driver’s lesson. However, after I almost hit a parked car (at least in his estimation), my further driver’s education took place through a professional agency.
I can recall driving with my friend overnight from South Carolina to Maryland. We stopped off at a rest stop in Virginia and snoozed a bit in the car in the wee hours. It was cold and I felt slimy, but my spirits improved when we arrived in the town where I went to high school at hit the Dunkin Donuts for some coffee and fat pills.
One of the more exciting experiences of driving I have had is following my boss down to Orlando. At one time I joined him in taking international students to Disney and such.
My boss had a lead foot. The man liked to drive about 80 or 90 mph.
It didn’t matter if we were passing through a major city like Jacksonville at the time. It was pedal to the medal. He was definitely hard to keep up with.
I once made a trip to Florida at Christmas time with a roomate to visit his folks. It was a 25 hour drive from northern Virginia to Pensacola.
Ironically, it was also about 25 degrees, surprisingly, when we arrived. The trip was worth it through because we came back with a trunk full of Gulf of Mexico shrimp.
Most recently, I flew into Tucson and drove cross country with my friend. We encountered border patrol in the southwest, but even better, ribs in Memphis.
He left me in Tennessee and flew back home, but I continued on to Virginia. I hadn’t gone 20 miles when a state cop pulled me over.
I had never seen a policeman like him. He leaned into my passenger side window and blew bubbles with his bubble gum. He looked about 16.
He pulled me over, he said, for a couple of reasons. They were both bogus in mv view.
What he really wanted to do was see if Ihad any contraband in my trunk. After all, I had Arizona tags.
The stop ended peacefully. I went on my way to my new home in Blacksburg.
One other trip comes to mind. This was the one where I sat in a massive traffic jam on I-77 in North Carolina and broke my foot walking to a restaurant in South Carolina.
After surgery and 2 days in the hospital, I drove home. It was quite harrowing with a cast on my driver’s foot. I had never driven with my left foot before.
I haven’t driven far much lately. Gas is too expensive and my car is 19 years old. But one day again, I’ll hop in my buggy and go on another road trip.