Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Chapter 3 The Hellatious Day
What a crappy day!!! A few minutes of sun and pretty farms as we left Breezewood, Pa but then temperatures between 19 and 22 degrees and wet roads, snow so thick it was like fog and spray from innumerable trucks that made visibility impossible! It was obvious from the snow accumulations between Breezewood and Pittsburg that we'd made a wish move to leave the road early yesterday. Took the same picture of the bridge over the Monongahela River I'd taken last year and then on into West Virginia for a minute and across the Ohio River into Ohio. We had stayed in Cambridge, Ohio on our second night last year and it is 3 and 1/4 hours and 209 miles farther East than Breezewood, so we are about half a day behind our trip in 2009. As we moved through Ohio it became obvious that the day before had brought an incredibly windy, wet snow storm into the area from the NorthEast. The trees and any other vertically oriented structure were plastered for their entire height with snow, making stands of all different kind of trees appear like clumps of white birch. Neither Pennsylvania nor Ohio stint on road salt--at these temperatures the wet roads should have been sheer ice but instead they were splashy, puddle ridden --as though a torrential rain had just passed through. Having few opportunities to take any long range pictures I amused myself with strange place names like Lover and Eighty Four. Listened to the 40's station on XM Sirius radio and sang along with Bing Crosby and his son, Gary, Billie Holliday, the Andrews Sisters etal. I'm sure Bill was thrilled but I HATE these trucks and snow and ice and I'm a wreck. I wouldn't be out here but he doesn't want to miss Vt Falls so off we go into scary winter travel. I could always throw up instead!!!! I did relent after awhile and tune into NPR where we listened to the author of a new book about Ken Starr's investigation of Billy-Boy. I really like that Gross lady who does the interviews but I'm afraid I just could not tolerate a discussion of Autism with Diane Reeves so we agreed to radio silence for a bit. As we entered Indiana a CONVOY of highway salt trucks/plows came onto the Interstate setting off further alarm bells in my already high alert system. After all, a tractor trailer had already decided to come into the passing lane as a car who'd decided we weren't passing fast enough cut onto our right and then out in front of us just as the truck was pulling in front of us---I just closed my eyes and waited....happily Bill was able to just let off the gas, the car pulled to the left and the truck went back into the right lane. We pulled in behind him and have no idea where the idiot went. A few miles later I looked over at an entrance ramp only to see a flat bed canvas covered off the road: the cab askew and the trailer flat on its side.... And then as we exited in Richmond, Indiana where I'd called ahead for a reservation the windshield began to ice up when we sprayed it to see. Yes, indeed, time once more to call it a day. This time at 4 PM--as we made our way to the motel I felt like the road and the holy roller church opposite the driveway looked incredibly familiar. Barb and I stayed here on our way back from Montana in Nov of 2007!!! Remember the Canadian geese on the lawn and the strange way to get back on the Interstate--almost dangerous!!!Unloaded and wasted no time to go out to eat at Frickers where they were having 35 cent wings night---oh, yes--sooooo good with Guinness. Last year we were in Oklahoma for Mardi Gras and the bartender had beads for all and the vibe was very festive---not at Frickers---no indication at all--too many WASPY types and not enough French Catholics!!! LOLBack to the motel where, once more, it seemed I could not connect to the Internet. Both times --here and in Breezewood--it was a network problem, not my computer. But in both cases, very frustrating. It did give me a chance to think about the push by Pa and Ohio to make coal the fuel of choice--as once it was, before the pollution ( remember those great inversions? Or the heavenly black smear on one's washclothe at the end of a day walking in NYC? ) made everyone demand scrubbers and other choices that were less harmful to the environment. Now there are these clever billboards---ELECTRI ( all bright and illuminated) city ( small, dark and grey) and the message--you can't have it without coal....-----Coal the green fuel......Coal an old friend with a new look! And then a TV ad about a guy in Wyoming who works for a power company out there and talks about the large deposits of coal in the Powder River Valley.....Well, everything old is new again and with new technology it probably is an answer to oil dependancy --and will satisfy those afraid of nuclear power and those who have a zillion reasons why they don't want pinwheels on THEIR ridges! Thank goodness this attitude didn't prevail when all those power lines and phone lines were strung so unattractively --or we'd still be using candles and smoke signals! Oops, the foregoing was just an editorial note--subject to feedback,naturally! LOL It also allowed me to watch the men's short program in figure skating though I missed Prochenko--but I'll catch him Thursday for sure. All in all a stressful day that ended well though with apprehension since the weather forcast is confusing though never very encouraging. Goodnight all!