Virginia Bound (Part II)

(…continued from Part I…)

In NC there were (smallish) mountains in the distance.

We really should have cleaned our windshield before we left on this trip; it was filthy 🙂

North Carolina is Nascar country. Jay told me we’d pass right by the speedway in Charlotte, which was kind of true … but not really.

Passing the Speedway ...

I took a pic for Sher anyway … it’s over yonder way. What? You can’t see it? No, I couldn’t either, lol, but oh well. Jay assured me it’s right there somewhere.

Jay did not request many pics on the journey, but this is one he wanted.

In NC they have a lot of turnpikes and streets named after Nascar people, which I kind of tweeted a little if you were following me on Friday. Most of that stuff was for Sherry’s interest. Richmond is the only short track that Jay has never been to yet. He says once he goes to that one he doesn’t care if he ever goes to another race again. So we’re getting tickets for September 11th. He invited his Uncle Bob down from NB to go with us, and also his cousin Steven. If they come and stay with us THAT should be interesting, living with two crazy Warren men and a Burke in a tiny 5th wheel camper!

Driving through NC was long and boring and filled with a lot of road rage. Every one on the road who wanted to drive slow seemed to get in front of us no matter what lane we took. There was a lot of cussing and hand gestures coming from my hubby! We were all getting tired. John’s bony ass was killing him because the seat in the crew truck is hard and uncomfortable. Brad never complained though.

We were supposed to stop and meet up with a childhood friend of Jay’s about 9 miles from the VA state line. He hasn’t seen Karen in 20+ years, but they recently reconnected on Facebook. So we were supposed to stop, grab a bite of supper with her & her husband at Applebee’s and then continue on into Virginia. I had talked to her on the phone the night before & written down directions for where we were supposed to be when we called her (about 30 min from where she lives). So as we got closer to the VA state line I started looking at my directions so I wouldn’t miss the place. As soon as Jay saw the paper in my hand he said we weren’t going to stop, and I quite happily agreed. We were tired and hot and ever so sore and cramped from driving all day. I just wanted to get there and go to bed. This was around 4pm, and we were about an hour, hour and a half away from our destination. Jay spoke with Stan (the head supervisor who came out to VA early last week) and told him we should roll in around 5 or 5:30 to drop Brad off at the motel in Mechanicsville.

But it was also around this time that everything started to go wrong …

We had pretty much rolled along all day with very good traffic, but all of a sudden we came up on brake lights and everything was stopped.

Traffic at a standstill, far as the eye could see, in NC.

Somehow we managed to get way ahead of John and Brad in the traffic jam. A wreck up ahead of us turned out to be the cause. It was a four car pile-up, didn’t seem to be any severe injuries, just a lot of front and back ends crunched, three sets of cops and a bunch of obviously shaken and upset women standing on the side of the hwy as we passed. It took awhile to get past and get rolling good again, and that only lasted a few minutes when we were suddenly all locked up and standing still again. This wreck when we finally came up on it was much more severe. There were definitely some serious injuries. One little hatchback was crunched all to hell. This accident happened on the other side of the hwy in the traffic going in the opposite direction as us, but they jumped the median and the little hatchback was into the guardrail on the far right of our side of the hwy, so it had gone through all the lanes of oncoming cars. Jay hoped John got through before they blocked the road completely for the wreckers to take the cars out. And luckily they did.

By that time John called and said he needed to refuel again, so we started looking for a place that sold diesel. We found an exit sign that said there was a gas station with what we needed. This was not one of those big shiny brand new truck stops with the Wendy’s restaurant in them, but a smaller dingy looking and rundown Mom & Pop kinda joint with a hand-printed sign in the window saying the restaurant had good home cooking. The diesel tanks were over to the side by themselves. They looked deserted and unused. Jay tried to pump and it wasn’t working right. I thought I’d better pee again anyway so I went inside to see if they did indeed have any diesel fuel.

As I stepped in from the bright sunshine into the darker building, an old fashioned bell on the door tinkled, and I wondered which character in what movie I had suddenly become. The store only had a couple of coolers and one shelf of goods. The rest of the place was filled with metal folding card tables and chairs. There were four or five low hanging ceiling fans whirring to keep the place cool because they had no a/c. There were about 8 black men wearing panama style hats and suspenders over their white tank tops sitting at the tables playing cards and puffing on cigars & cheap cigarettes. Everyone looked to the door to see who had come in. And everyone stopped what they were doing to stare in shock and amazement at what must have been the only white woman this place had ever seen. I was like Jehovah! We have stopped at the WRONG place! I smiled at the old black man behind the counter and asked if they had any diesel. He said no and I said okay then, thank you. Then I left without looking for a bathroom to pee in. Brad was crossing the parking lot as I was scurrying out and I said, “Don’t bother, they don’t have anything we need here.”

We got back on the highway and pulled off at the next exit where we found several newer and more modern fully functional service stations.

We stopped at a big truck stop to refuel and I went in to pee. An elderly black man happened to be cleaning the ladies room right then, so he took me to the far end of the place and showed me where the other ladies room was. But unlike the other place, this was a multi-cultural place full of travellers & truck drivers from all over.

I had been craving salt for most of the afternoon. I’m not sure why, but every once and awhile when I’m travelling I will crave salt, which makes me think that for some reason my body must need it. So I got a bag of Lays Salt ‘n Vinegar chips & and bottle of Diet Pepsi. I NEVER do this! Years ago I used to have a bottle of Diet Pepsi by my side all the time, just like I do with tea and water now, but it’s been a really long time since I’ve had any. It was soooo freaking good! Honest to god the best bag of chips and pop I think I’ve ever had! When I came out of the store with my goodies it made Jay raise his eyebrows though. He was like “What are you doing? I’ve never seen you drink soda before!”

At last! The VA state line!

Finally we crossed the Virginia state line! It had taken us a good hour, hour and a half, to go relatively very few miles, but now the sun was shining and we were finally in the right state. All seemed well! I started to get excited again after hours of being bored to tears in NC.

(…to be continued….)

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