Thursday, October 04, 2007

Rain, Roads and Raper, Oh My!

Tuesday Iowa to Indiana (385) miles)

During our stay in Davenport TGF better to not totally push ourselves to make Dayton on Tuesday and stay the night at Jeriann’s. The idea of unloading to Jer’s 2-bedroom condo on the third floor of a walk up to share her space with her, our nephew Cody (almost 13 years old) and three cats with our crew just did not seem to be a great idea. And then there was the prospect of whether or not we would find somewhere to park the Behemoth at her condo. TGF picked Richmond Indiana, which is just across the border from Ohio and not far from Dayton proper, at our goal. It all seemed very doable, less mileage then the day before so a breeze, right? Not so much.

One of the great things about this part of the country is how far one can see ahead, and on either side of the road. In the early afternoon I could see rain falling far off in the distance, a sight I hadn’t seen in years and years. I first remember seeing this phenomenon when I was a child visiting my grandfather in Florida. It completely floored me how one could “see” rain from so far away, that one could see it but not be in it. That vision on nature is right up there in awe factor with the first time I clearly remember seeing the rays of the sun streaming down and when we drove through a cloud in Montana.

We were cruising along quite nicely when we hit our first real traffic tie up of the entire trip. I kid you not. There had been an accident which held up traffic for close to a hour, during which time we crawled along when we could drive. Cody called me during this time and we chatted about school and his Wii game, which helped to pass the time. We had all made plans to meet in Richmond for dinner because he could not wait to see us. I began to worry about making good time so as not to keep them out to late, it being a school night and all.

The traffic did let up but the light rain and darkened sky soon descended which slowed things a bit, but not as much as the crazy construction combined with rush hour traffic. It’s true the traffic is laughable when compared with the Bay Area but Indianapolis in dark light, rain, driving a Behemoth and having no idea when the lanes are going switch up on you, and the damn bumpiness of the road, well frankly it sucked big time!

Once we got onto 70 proper it was better, though it seemed to take forever for that to happen, but then we had no idea what exit the Mot*l 6 was at and there were no signs. When I finally saw a mileage sign that said 36 miles to Richmond I thought I would cry because after days of travel, the rain, the dark, and horrible suspension of the Behemoth I was beyond done with driving. I chanted and cursed my way through the last leg of this day. I played cheerleader and the team in need of cheering. Every time a bridge or an overpass appeared I bit my lip in order not to cry at the jarring section of road ahead.

I kept searching the billboards that popped up but when a series of them appeared in the distance I had hope that one would be blaring a Mot*l 6 sign however what I saw instead was what looked to my tired eyes to be the equivalent of a visual stutter – they were all blaring advertisements for a Tom Raper who apparently sold RVs, maybe something else. I really don’t know because I was so annoyed at his total domination of air space and not one of them was telling me when I could stop driving that I couldn’t read them. Finally I found a sign for another chain, called TGF to tell her I was going there, that I didn’t care anymore, I just had to stop driving. Soon after I saw that that very same exit led to the holy grail of motels for this trip. To say that I was happy, relieved, or even ready to collapse is only to scratch the surface of my emotions.

Soon after we met up with Jeriann and Cody for dinner which was really nice diversion. Afterwards we crawled in bed and looked forward to the conclusion of our journey.


Jbeeky said...

My anxiety over this trip is only mitigated by the fact that you are telling this in past tense. I am so glad you are done!

wen said...

OMG, who knew Mr. Raper was still around and dominating the billboards. Alas, I remember him from my days in the Midwest.

And, like jbeeky, the only reason I'm not having a nervous breakdown on your behalf is because you let us know you have already arrived safely!