I am currently running a series aptly called The Road Scholar, which takes you on a virtual ride on my truck, and through my mind (a journey which would likely scare the evil out of Freddie Krueger). Enjoy the ride!
09 January 2011
The Road Scholar - Day 9
Today turned out to be longer than expected. After delivering in Pauls Valley, nothing was planned, so I made my way to Ardmore, a moderately sized town just 40 miles south. Took care of my personal business (refer to Day 3 for explanation) and made a visit to one of the local establishments (guess where).
This afternoon I was blessed to enjoy a moderate snowfall, not very long (1-2 hours), but snow nevertheless. Falling snow, I’ve thought, has a calming, almost therapeutic effect on the spirit. The way the flakes flutter down, dancing in the air as they make a graceful, even theatrical, descent – almost as if fairies were using the flakes as capes, like an elegant matador, taunting the bullish air. Having to drive through the snow, however, can be a daunting, onerous task in itself. I did get another load assignment, later in the evening. Picking up in Ft. Smith, AR Monday morning and taking it to Southaven, MS, a suburb of Memphis, for Tuesday. The trek began simple enough, until around Henryetta, OK – THAT’S when the fun began. Once a hit a small slick spot (and noticed a few cars in the ditch), I figured it was time to ease back on the horses. Generally, you can drive a good pitch in Oklahoma (70 is the posted speed limit), but in Henryetta, the roads become, shall I say, something with much to be desired in the way of a comfortable ride. I’ll put it this way: if you’re listening to music on the radio, the song may skip a few times. The condition of the road was the least of my problems… now there is the presence of ice. Not terribly bad, but enough to make you decide to slow down – to about 35 (I have seen it worse) – but that’s just the BEGINNING. Going 35-40 for about 90 miles is quite a monotonous task! After enduring that, I make my way across the state line into Arkansas – where conditions are WORSE. Correct me if I’m wrong, but if temperatures over the last month have fluctuated from the mid to upper 30′s, up to the upper 50′s and back down again, chances are the snow will not stick… BUT, if a snow is being predicted, along with temperatures within the range of freezing – and for hypothetical purposes, let’s say I’m in local government – those low temperatures, combined with teflon snow, would equal ICE. it would then be my job to ensure the safety of the people of Ft. Smith - hence: road trucks WILL be on standby to plow snow, or cover the ice with sand, OR BOTH. Once I entered into Arkansas, there was a two mile stretch of interstate, just before the junction of I-540 south, and even upon the interchange of said highway, where sand was applied. The first 5 miles, and all of I-540 south: NADA! My stretch of 268 miles usually only takes about 4 1/2 hours, tonight: 6 1/2. I started at quarter to eight, arrived at 0215… and that is the reason for yet another delayed posting. If you had similar adverse weather where you live, I pray your safety, wherever you need to go; if you didn’t, we will be more than happy to share some of this with you.