Screaming In The Rain
IF THERE IS ONE WAY TO SPEND A DAY that can make you contemplate several versions of crimes ending in “icide” it is driving from Terre Haute, Indiana (That’s French for “Road Work Ahead”) to Cleveland, Ohio. I’ll save you some time here – its 391.8 miles according to Google.
The most direct route from Point TH to Point C is via Interstate 70 to Columbus, Ohio, and then by Interstate 71 north to your final destination – The Marriott Whatchamacallit in Cleveland. There is only one – no – make that two flaws in that plan.
Flaw #1 was the overabundance of Weather. During the course of our pilgrimage we had to go through some (a lot) of rain. The last time it rained that hard was when Noah was going crazy trying to get those two cats to go up the ramp and on to his brand new, custom built, Ark.
Flaw #2 was that on every other sign along the way carried the same message: Road Work Ahead. It was mile after mile of one lane partially paved bumper to bumper speeding cars and trucks. Lots of trucks. Concrete barriers kept us from any escape. The posted speed limit through all of these here inches wider than your car cattle chutes was 60 mph. The flow of the traffic kept the real speed at a calm and sedate 80 mph.
I lost track of how many miles were like this. My total focus was on the Semi 4 ½ feet in front of me and the other one 3 ½ feet behind me. Oh, yes…it was still raining. It was like driving through the world’s longest car wash. After several hours of that I think we should have been some sort of award. Even one of those little pine tree car deodorants would have been nice, but…no such luck.
Having driven for what seemed like three weeks we approached the city of Columbus, Ohio where we would leave I-70 and get onto I-71 for the northern run up to Cleveland.
There are two ways of making that transitional step from one “I” to the other. As I got closer to the I-270 Loop around Columbus the flashing signs were telling me that there was “Road Construction Ahead” and to “Expect Delays.” That made my decision – we would stay on I-70 into downtown Columbus and make the hop to I-71 there.
Those devilish Traffic People had set me up. About ten feet before I had to finally chose which way to go there was another sign:
“I-70 to I-71 Connection Under Renovation.
Expect Long Delays. Take I-270”
Could they not have told me that earlier? It was too late to change lanes again – in heavy traffic – in torrential tropical rainfall – and I needed to go to the potty.
It soon became obvious to me that Columbus, Ohio is in reality a massive used car lot. Cars are sitting
there as far as my sweaty eyes can see while being buffeted by wind and rain. Not a rest stop anywhere to be seen.
After another hour things slowly began to pick up and we got into Cleveland at about 6:45 PM. Not bad considering that we left home at 10:45 AM for what Google said would take 5 hours and 45 minutes.
I consider it all a success. We did arrive alive at our planned destination, on the same day that we started….and thanks to all the rain – with the cleanest car in our time zone.