Monday, January 12, 2009

Hwy 1 Blues

I had a long day today. I was in my office at the college before 9:30am, kept my office hours, taught my two classes, and then headed to the bookstore to help with reducing inventory (sending books back to publishers).

After I put in about three hours packing books, I made the mistake of going into the grocery store for "just cat food." Hah! When have I ever been able to get out of the store with "just one thing"? After staring at the wine, debating over which bread to buy for my lunch sandwiches, and sifting through the egg cartons to find a whole unbroken carton, I checked out, loaded my groceries, and headed down the road, a half-hour later than I should have.

Which was fine, really, until I hit the Caddo/Red River Parish line and sat in traffic for another half-hour. Seems that a dump truck burned up on the road (I hope the driver wasn't hurt), and the state police were trying to gather as much evidence as they could and move the dump truck on a large flatbed trailer.

Hwy 1 doesn't seem that busy most of the time. But when a half-hour's worth of traffic backs up, one begins to see just how many people travel that road. And, of course, all those people who were slowed down because of the accident then became aggressive drivers, speeding to make up for lost time. The whole thing was nuts.

I love driving a two-lane road, really. When I go to Austin to visit my kids, I always take the "back roads." They are busy, but not as frantic as the interstate. But accidents clog up a back road. It's hard to clear wrecks and harder to get rescue vehicles around all those stopped cars. Patience is the mantra during those times. I just turned off the engine and sat in the glow of all the cars behind me.


Maureen O'Neal said...

Oh, Ms. Smith! My mom and I were in New Orleans this past weekend (for a Celine Dion concert), and we sat in traffic for two-and-a-half hours!

After that, I became one of those aggressive drivers you mentioned...

dotsmom said...

I didn't think Celine would perform concerts outside of Las Vegas--she had that theater build for her.

I hope you had fun, anyway. NO is one of the worst places to drive.

Maureen O'Neal said...

That is true! For the last five years she has been a staple in Las Vegas; but, she finished her gig there and is now on a World Tour.

We definitely had fun!

Erin said...

Actually, I would have to disagree. I think Baton Rouge is the worst place to drive; getting there is frustrating enough. I always try to leave early to avoid traffic, but no matter what I always end up stuck in it. Although New Orleans does have crazy streets, I'd rather just walk the streets of N.O. anyways. What can I say, I'm partial to New Orleans.