Sunday, October 7, 2012

Spent - Home again, time to unpack

Pulling into our driveway late on a dark, rainy Sunday evening, after spending the last four hours gritting our teeth driving through traffic that at times seemed almost maniacal, was such a total emotional crash that even our dogs were completely spent. If someone ever tells you dogs can't feel their owner's emotions, they're wrong. In fact, pets are very good at picking up emotional vibes from humans, and this evening was no different. Our 94 day camping trip was over and we were glad to home safely. 

The last four hours were without doubt the most dangerous part of our five thousand mile journey. We were incredibly tense in the heavy, incessant rain on Interstate 75, especially when we encountered the road construction near Tampa in the dim light and splashing water that the wipers couldn't seem to get off the windshield fast enough. 

Traffic was incredibly dangerous as people really begin to believe the automobile ads on television about driving the Nürburgring or Pikes Peak, or wherever immortal, invincible drivers speed magically along with no regard to crashing. Rain and low visibility made no difference to many drivers who more than once almost brushed the edge of the road or even each other.

 Pulling a twenty-one foot travel trailer, we were sitting ducks, no matter how slowly I drove. I had on my emergency flashers as well as the trailer clearance lights mounted just below the top of the trailer, as well as the taillights. Yes! Anything to catch the attention of these imbeciles! Many other drivers had their flashers on as well, but we saw many speeding drivers with no lights at all!

As the indestructible drivers zoomed by in spray so thick you couldn't make out their taillights, I could only wonder why there hadn't been more massive pileups out here on the fringe of human intellect.

“SARASOTA, FL — At least 52 people were taken to local hospitals after a massive pileup on Interstate 75 involving 47 vehicles, according to Florida Highway Patrol. No fatalities have been reported. FHP said there are at least 12 separate crash investigations with more to follow in the incident that occurred in the southbound lanes near the I-75/University Parkway interchange.” From the Herald Staff Report, Bradenton Herald 10/05/2012


The above accident happened just the other day, a little south of Tampa on I-75, but the same drivers, I'm sure. Yes, it was raining.

“JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --There were 20 crashes in a 4-mile area on the west side Friday afternoon. According to Captain Keith Gaston with the Florida Highway Patrol, 18 people were taken to the hospital, but none of the injuries were serious. The wrecks closed parts of I-10 during the afternoon west but all lanes of I-10 were reopened as of 7:45 pm Friday.” Written by Jessika Lewis , FCN News, Jacksonville, FL


The accidents on I-10 happened at about the same time, but different rainstorms on different Interstate highways. Maybe they're all related. No, not the accidents, I mean the drivers. I'm sure they all watch the same ads. They all think they're invincible. 

Maybe, just maybe, their entire driving experience comes from sitting in front of a game console where if a driver crashes, they just hit reset and start over. The worst of these would have to be, in my mind at least, one called "Danger Zone." where, using the text from their own web site, "The concept is simple: crash for cash by creating the biggest car crash." There is a whole genre of auto and truck crash games out there, so perhaps it is a new sign of societal illness. 

It would definitely fit with the immortal image of the TV ads. 

We are thrilled to be home. Time for a break.


NEXT: Close to home - Where to spend my 70th birthday?   Pennekamp, at:

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