Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Adventure Begins.........Hitting the Road

The Adventure Begins
I don't know maybe it is me always making provisions for stuff that triggers said stuff or what but the fact is stuff happened as I made my way to Santa Rosa. Somehow it seemed like this trip was jinxed from the start.

I'd hoped to leave by 6 on Saturday morning but 6 somehow turned into more like 9. It wasn't that anything in particular went wrong, just lots of little things that stalled getting on the road. Dave hadn't loaded my hay the night before thinking I really didn't need as much as I thought so he was loading hay instead of giving me the help I'd expected. Then leg wraps I was applying just didn't seem to want to lay right or horses didn't want to stand still. All the usual stuff that sucks up time.

When I did depart, I drove the back way down through Yelm, Rainier and Tenino to Interstate 5. Then stopped in Chehalis to get breakfast with Mickey D. That's where I noticed the first problem since I'd actually left home.

Dave had covered the load in my pick-up bed with a couple of tarps and tied them down. The only problem was he tied them down in true Dave fashion. Even though I'd questioned him about his technique. he'd assured me he'd done better than in times past.

I don't know about better but Dave's heart is in the right place. He just has no sense about what it takes to tie down a load that's going to be subjected to the forces of the wind driving on the interstate. While my step father was a trucker, I'd grown up being taught all the things you can and cannot do.

Checking my load at each stop is one of those things I had drilled into me. When I checked my load at Mickey D's, I found a couple of loose ends that had been flopping.....and flopping in a way I knew would lead to bigger issues if I didn't intervene. I did my best to fix it without undoing the whole thing.

My best probably should have been to tear it all down and just start over because as luck would have it another twenty-five miles down the road and I was fixing it again. This time I lucked out that I'd pulled over when I did. One of the tarps had worked itself totally free from the rope tying it in place. Most likely it would have become airborne departing the truck all together in the next few minutes had I not stopped.

Washington State does not take kindly to unsecured loads especially those putting the lives of others in danger. There's a huge fine for such things. Not to mention I'm pretty sure my free flying tarp would have caused some kind of wreck. The freeway was packed. The road conditions were horrible with torrential rains. Like I said I was lucky I caught it when I did and no one was hurt by this mistake.

I don't know how long I spent in the driving rain trying to retie this load so I'd have no further issues but I was thoroughly drenched. However, it was not the last time I stopped to secure those tarps. All in all I stopped five times before I got smart and just untied everything I could reach and started over again.

In the process of trying to get this issue fixed I made the acquittance of a trucker at one of the state rest stops. It seemed like a casual enough conversation. He'd asked if he could help and I'd said I thought I had it, followed by a little history on the problem. Then he mentioned expecting tears from women in similar circumstances followed by my comment I was too tough for that. If tears could flow over something so little, odds were I wouldn't be making this trip in the first place.

It wasn't until I ran into this same trucker at the very next stop I made to "fix" the tarp situation that I began to think about how stupid I had been. I'd told a complete stranger that I was a woman travelling across the country by myself. I began to wonder if this second meeting was mere coincidence or something more sinister.

As I made my way back onto the freeway only to find this trucker right in front of me, the possibilities began to raise in my mind. Each time I changed lanes only to be followed by this trucker did my mind really begin to race. Coming to the Washington Oregon border I was wondering if I needed to worry if I'd picked up a stalker.

These thoughts probably wouldn't have occurred to me if I hadn't made that comment about being tough enough to take on this kind of trip by myself. I was relieved when this trucker finally disappeared off into the distance......but I couldn't help but wonder if he wouldn't show up again. It made for a tense trip.

To be continued.........

The Road Hits Back

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  1. Oooohhh....creepy!! I would have been freaking out!

  2. Maybe he was keeping an eye on you in a friendly way. Just trying to be nice in case you had trouble again he would be able to pull over and help. You did divulge that you were traveling alone and he possibly thought that for part of the journey he could watch out for you a little bit.

  3. This could become extremely creepy or on the other hand- quite a few truckers are bored and just like to look out for others on the road. My father trucks in the winter and he has all kinds of stories about helping others and watching out for others. I wouldn't get too worried just yet, but you never know! Some of them are the nicest people in the world, others well... you just never know. ;D

  4. Michelle, I wasn't sure what to think except that I should have never shared I was making the trip alone.

    Amy, that was part of my struggle. My step-father was one of those truckers who would have helped anyone so I knew the most likely scenario was this guy was just being friendly and wanting to help if needed.

    Yet, the other side of the coin needed to be considered as well. Safety could indeed be an issue on a trip like this. That's what got me thinking about what I shouldn't be sharing with people I did not know.

  5. It never hurts to err on the side of caution :)

  6. Hopefully he was just watching out for you.