Rise at 4 am EDT–check
Leave at 5 am EDT–left at 5:12 am
Sail smoothly to I-4, take I-4 to Toll Road 429–check
Sail smoothly to the Florida Turnpike, north to I-75–check
[By this time I was smiling broadly, while the plugged in, tuned out younger passengers slept and Terry rode shotgun…I could see Atlanta in my sights by Noon, home in 12, maybe 13 hours…yes, sir, I was feeling good!]
THEN, Red light, red lights, a whole stream of RED LIGHTS!
Terry suddenly alerted, shouting, “Stop!” [Stop was not in my plan, but I did stop. I did not hit anyone or even squeal my brakes and no one hit us. Whew!]
As far as my eyes could see ahead and soon behind, cars and trucks formed one of those unplanned, no exit in sight, parking lots on the interstate. For two hours we sat, moving inches occasionally. People pulled to the side of the road not to run up the shoulder in an attempt to out fox the rest of us poor dumb souls, but to trot into the bushes to answer the call of nature.
One lane would move a bit, then another, but it was impossible to tell if there was a fast lane, at .5 mph fast is relative, but I did spot other Kentucky tags from McCracken, Boone, Hardin and Muhlenberg. I rolled down my window and smiled at them, but they kept their eyes fixed on the next 10 inch target, so I could not get a Kentucky party going.
After 2 hours, 10 minutes movement began to filter back to our part of the parking lot. We got up to 25, then 35, then 40 mph. About half a mile up the road, a sign on the right read, “Accident Ahead, Slow Down”.
As we approached the accident site…we were now up to 50 mph…we saw a large box off a semi-trailer truck across the opposing lanes of traffic up in the woods, 10 to 15 emergency vehicles, debris including a shoe, scattered for 50 feet or greater and officials still working the scene, which covered 4 north bound lanes. We were diverted around the scene on the inside shoulder.
So with that and Atlanta Sunday traffic, my plan for a smooth sailing early arrival home to Kentucky dissolved. We did make it safely though.
Considering that, I looked up the accident that stalled us in traffic. It happened at 4 am, about the time I got up. It involved two eighteen wheelers and two cars. One man died.
I doubt that was the plan they had for the day. So please lift these folks up in prayer and remember–talking to myself here–there are more important things than check marks on a list