The Road Scholar – Day 9

Posted: 10 January 2011 in Travel
Tags: , , , , , ,

Today turned out to be longer than expected. After
delivering in Pauls Valley, nothing was planned, so I made my way
to Ardmore, a moderately sized town just 40 miles south. Took care
of my personal business (refer to Day 3 for explanation) and made a
visit to one of the local establishments (guess where).

This afternoon I
was blessed to enjoy a moderate snowfall, not very long (1-2
hours), but snow nevertheless. Falling snow, I’ve thought, has a
calming, almost therapeutic effect on the spirit. The way the
flakes flutter down, dancing in the air as they make a graceful,
even theatrical, descent – almost as if fairies were using the
flakes as capes, like an elegant matador, taunting the bullish air.
Having to drive through the snow, however, can be a daunting,
onerous task in itself. I did get another load assignment, later in
the evening. Picking up in Ft. Smith, AR Monday morning and taking
it to Southaven, MS, a suburb of Memphis, for Tuesday. The trek
began simple enough, until around Henryetta, OK – THAT’S when the
fun began. Once a hit a small slick spot (and noticed a few cars in
the ditch), I figured it was time to ease back on the horses.
Generally, you can drive a good pitch in Oklahoma (70 is the posted
speed limit), but in Henryetta, the roads become, shall I say,
something with much to be desired in the way of a comfortable ride.
I’ll put it this way: if you’re listening to music on the radio,
the song may skip a few times. The condition of the road was the
least of my problems… now there is the presence of ice. Not
terribly bad, but enough to make you decide to slow down – to about
35 (I have seen it worse) – but that’s just the BEGINNING. Going
35-40 for about 90 miles is quite a monotonous task! After enduring
that, I make my way across the state line into Arkansas – where
conditions are WORSE. Correct me if I’m wrong, but if temperatures
over the last month have fluctuated from the mid to upper 30’s, up
to the upper 50’s and back down again, chances are the snow will
not stick… BUT, if a snow is being predicted, along with
temperatures within the range of freezing – and for hypothetical
purposes, let’s say I’m in local government – those low
temperatures, combined with teflon snow, would equal ICE. it would
then be my job to ensure the safety of the people of Ft. Smith –
hence: road trucks WILL be on standby to plow snow, or cover the
ice with sand, OR BOTH. Once I entered into Arkansas, there was a
two mile stretch of interstate, just before the junction of I-540
south, and even upon the interchange of said highway, where sand
was applied. The first 5 miles, and all of I-540 south: NADA! My
stretch of 268 miles usually only takes about 4 1/2 hours, tonight:
6 1/2. I started at quarter to eight, arrived at 0215… and that
is the reason for yet another delayed posting. If you had similar
adverse weather where you live, I pray your safety, wherever you
need to go; if you didn’t, we will be more than happy to share some
of this with you.

  1. Candace Dowen says:

    Thanks, but we-uns down here in middle Tennessee are getting our share – six inches at least and it’s still falling. Beautiful! 🙂

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