Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day 8 on the Road; A Lovely Drive or Storms, Fog and TORNADO!

My last day on the road was eventful and bladder bursting. Probably not two things you want to be together.

I left Toledo around 7:30am after giving a couple from Georgia a jump start. They were absolutely shitting themselves because the weather report was calling for snow, and they were 'Southern People' and 'sick of all this cold weather'. I didn't point out that it was 7 C.

I had noticed the weather forecast, but it sounded like the snow was to start after I was out of Ohio, so I wasn't too worried. Even if they were wrong, I had excellent snow tires and a heavy laden car. Another thing I'd noticed on the news that morning was how many tornadoes had been cropping up in the area. I counted myself lucky to have missed them.

Once on the road, apart from having to pay a horrendous amount in road tolls ($40 over 2 days!!!), life was good. For the first hour at least.

My darling cats, who up until now (barring that first day) had been excellent travellers, decided that 7 days was their cap. After an hour on the road they were miaowing, clawing at their kennel and making other disturbing noises. When I could, I pulled over at a rest stop to check on them. They were really eager to get out of the kennel! I tried them in a litter box; not interested. I let them roam the car and stretch their legs; still noisy and demanding. I gave them pets and attention; not good enough. Finally, I tried feeding them- and bingo, the little gluttons had been jonesing for a second breakfast. Once they'd eaten (and I'd bought a coffee and an air freshener- cat food in an enclosed space = yuck) we were back on the road, and we only stopped for gas and bathrooms for the rest of the day.

I love Pennsylvania. It's dotted with cute little family farms and picturesque communities. It's also hilly, which I like and full of trees (double like).  It actually reminded me a lot of the drive through rural New Brunswick, north-west of Fredericton. I bet it's beautiful in the fall when the leaves are turning.

As lovely as it was, I couldn't spare the time to stop, so all my pictures are taken (quite skillfully, if I do say so myself) over my shoulder with my fingers crossed for luck whilst driving 140 kms/hr. What I do for you people.

While I was snapping a few of these pics, I happened to look over my other shoulder, and nearly wet myself. Tornado!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I couldn't believe it! I snapped another quick pic (just in case I got sucked up and spat out, so someone would know what happened), and booted it. As far as I know, it didn't touch down, but it was huge and freaking scary.

After the tornado episode I didn't take any more pictures for awhile, preferring to keep an eye out for further doom. Later, going over some mountains, the fog rolled in really thick, and the rain started coming down. I crossed the Mason-Dixie line, which symbolizes the cultural divide between North-Eastern United States and Southern United States. Once I was into Maryland it was raining as hard as I've ever seen it rain in Vancouver. A strangely appropriate homecoming. 

I got into Baltimore at precisely the worst possible time- right at the beginning of rush hour. Baltimore rush hours are legendary, and now I know why. When I hit the beginning of it, my (piece of shit) GPS told me I was an hour from home, but it actually took me about 2 1/2 hrs. This was partly because when I took the exit the GPS told be to, I was in the right hand exit lane, when I should have been in the inside lane because (unbeknownst to me) I needed to make an immediate left. Of course, nobody in that left lane was at all interested in letting me in, so I had to loop around on to another highway and come back around again. Bad time to have to pee.

On my way around I stopped at a light and the elderly gentleman in the car in front of me got out and told me he'd broken down. He didn't have a cell phone, so I offered him mine, but he was confused and couldn't remember his number. I stayed with him for about 20 minutes and we tried every number he could think of, and finally got a hold of his niece who was going to send one of her boys to pick the fellow (Mr. Page) up. I offered to stay, but he said he'd be ok, and I told him to stay in his car and put on his hazard lights. The whole time we were there, not another person stopped, but we did get honked at about a billion times. Not very heartening, but I guess that's a big city in rush hour.

Finally getting home to Sean was worth the 8 days of driving, dingy hotels and drive-thru dining. After half an hour it felt like we'd never been apart. I had an amazing adventure, but it's nice to be home.

Today's drive: 778 kms in 10 hrs.
Starting point; Toledo, OH.
Terminus; Cockeysville, MD (Yupp, that's the town where I live, 40 mins north of Baltimore)

Audiobooks: The Taken: A Hazel Micallef Mystery
Albums: The Fame Monster [Deluxe Edition]

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