We’re considering going to West Virginia for Thanksgiving, after all. Toney’s supposed to be finished with her training class, or whatever, around 3:30 on Wednesday, and we might just go for it and leave as soon as she gets home.
It’s a long trek, however, and would mean we probably wouldn’t get to my parents’ house until 1 am, or later. Not really a problem, but driving that time of night, during this time of year, isn’t exactly ideal. Ya know?
There’s a stretch, on Interstate 68 I think, that seems to be covered in snow year-round. And it’s completely secluded, with nothing but open fields as far as the eye can see. If we had some kind of problem out in that potbelly-stove country, they probably wouldn’t find our skeletons until spring.
Plus, there’s a big honkin’ hunk of I-79 in West Virginia where cell phones become nothing but a prop. And, have you ever seen Wrong Turn, about a group of people who have car trouble in that general part of the country? Well, I have.
Then there’s the possibility of fog. Rain and snow don’t scare me, but fog sure does. When I pass through a patch of that stuff while driving, my sphincter cinches-off so tight a single strand of optical fiber couldn’t be fed through there.
Yeah, but it’s funny. If it were just me, I’d make the trip without even thinking about it. In fact, when my mother was having medical issues a few years ago, I went back and forth during January and February, on a regular basis. But it makes me nervous when the family is involved. Having additional responsibilities changes the equation…
But we’ll see how it goes. If the weather is clear, we’ll probably do it.
And speaking of fog… Years ago Mark Maynard and I were driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles, on Highway 1. That’s the winding two-lane road along the coast of California, with spectacular mile-high rock cliffs overlooking the ocean. And, in many places, no guard rails…. Gulp.
We were in a rented van (a long and ridiculous story), and went through a miles-long stretch of thick fog. And the fact that I managed not to shit my pants that day is one of my proudest achievements.
We almost literally couldn’t see beyond the hood of our vehicle, and weren’t 100% sure we were in the correct lane, or even on the road. And that’s no good, even in the best of situations. But when you’re riding on a highway that features a 200-foot drop onto jagged rocks, as an excuse for a shoulder, it’s no good, supersized.
But we made it, needless to say. And when we were finally in clear sunlight (whew!) Mark pulled over and… picked up some hitchhikers. To counteract the sudden decrease in white-knuckle terror, I guess.
There is no way in hell I’d ever do such a thing. Pick up a hitchhiker along a highway? No freaking way. But on that day my input was not requested, and Mark allowed three people, two guys and girl, all approximately 17 years old, into our van.
At least one of them could’ve used a good pit-scrubbin’, there was a distinct tang in the air, and I was convinced one of those guys would eventually reach over the seat and wrap a wire around my neck. That’s what I thought about the whole time: a wire around the neck.
But we dropped them off at a convenience store somewhere, without incident. Yes, what a memorable day… If one of those young soapless strangers had just had a snake draped across his shoulders, like Alice Cooper, it would’ve been the full phobia combo platter.
Have you ever picked-up a hitchhiker? Or, conversely, have you ever hitchhiked yourself? Do you have a story to tell on that subject? Use the comments link below.
Needless to say, I have nothing else to add…
I placed a rather large order with the T-Shirt Lady yesterday, and should be able to start mailing shirts in about two weeks.
Thanks to everyone who pre-ordered, I really appreciate it. And if you didn’t, not a problem. I’ll have plenty of extras. But if you want them by Christmas, you should probably order soon. As they say on Dr. Dre Behind the Music, “Know what I’m sayin’?”
Here’s the link, once again. Are you getting the feeling we’ll be seeing a lot of that link? Yeah, me too.
And I need to call it a day, my friends. I have to go to work, and my car has roughly an eyedropper of gasoline in the tank. I guess I should fill it up?
Yeah, and since I’ll be at the gas station anyway, perhaps I’ll buy one of those hyper-extended bonus cans of Pringles, and eat the entire column while in transit? You know, since I’ll be at the gas station anyway.
See you guys tomorrow.
Drug Delivery Guy says
Have come thru fog and snow many times on I-68. It can be a bitch. One time I gassed up in LaVale and there were flurries in the air. By the time I got to the top of the first mountain I was in a foot of snow. It was 1:30 in the morning and I was the only car on the road. There were no tracks in front of me and I couldn’t tell where the road was. It was as if I was driving in a snow-covered field, which I could have been. Barely made it to the Finzel exit, turned around and spent the night in Frostburg. But that was in 1987 or so, there is a lot more “life” out there now than there was then. They would probably find you before Spring.
Me and my girls will be heading back that way earlier in the day on Wednesday. Also give a wave as you go by Bridgeport. I would think that it was more desolate south on I-79 below Clarksburg than on 68. There ain’t nothing thru there except for the oasis of Flatwoods.
Hitchhiked once. Got picked up by some nut job in a muscle car when I was about 15. He got that thing up to about 100 mph in a 25 mph zone laughing his azz off like a psyco. I was seeng dead relatives!!! At the stop sign I jumped out and flipped him off…..never again
Your Public. says
Bill in WV says
LOL at that film clip. That dude driving the car is in EVERY Clint Eastwood movie.