Thursday, February 1, 2007

Jungle Pete's Wild Ride

A few things that I will never do again-

  • Fall asleep on election night assuming the results are certain
  • Order anything off of the Taco Bell Dollar Menu. Or the regular menu for that matter

  • Seek refuge from a thunderstorm during a canoe trip by huddling under a train trestle

  • Drive a 16-foot rental truck while towing a pickup on a car carrier from Vermont to Florida

It's more than 1500 miles from Manchester, Vt to Fort Myers, FL so what better way to get all of my stuff down south? I don't know, but if I ever move again I figure something else out.

I'm notorious for losing things out of the back of my truck.

  • a giant stuffed teddy bear

  • a 3-foot tall plastic coke-bottle penny jar filled to the top
  • an 80-year old wicker chair heirloom

  • a twin-sized mattress

Don't follow behind me is what I'm saying. So to drag my truck on a carrier was 100% nerve wracking. Followed every safety instruction. Went over them again 2-3 more times. Packed the last of my stuff and away I went.

Somewhere near Binghamton, NY the car carrier began fishtailing resulting in the moving truck doing only what I can describe as "the Penguin", by rocking back and forth so violently that I actually said a prayer. Mostly so whomever had to clean up the wreck that would be my life would not have to ask why someone would be moving 30 year old Tonka Trucks and a vast assortment of pine cones, feathers and sea shells (among other oddities.)
It slowed me down. And I was only going 55, but from that point on, 45 became the standard speed.

In Vermont I had grown accustomed to ignoring weather forecasts, so it made little sense that I was now listening to every local weather forecast as I continued to waddle south. Snow and sleet expected in northern Pennsylvania. Strong gusts in Maryland. And even snow and ice in Georgia of all places. Somehow, while ambling down I-95 and having only the radio to listen to, the repetitive prognostications began to stick in my subconscious like pine sap. But without fail, as I raced along at a Wood Turtle's pace (they're quick for turtles) I left behind a wake of winter misery without ever experiencing the weather myself. Including snow in GEORGIA!

Somewhere in South Carolina I stopped for dinner at Arby's. There are only so many places to park a 16 foot-truck towing an 18-foot trailer. And who doesn't like their sweet BBQ sauce. Come on! Apparently not many since it was just me and a trucker dining in that night. If the trucker noticed me enter I wouldn't know. He was transfixed to Chris Matthews on Hardball (why this was on in the Arby's is a mystery). This man must have been 300+ lbs, tattoos up and down his arms, huge beer belly and a descent set of jowls. He watched intently until I sit a few tables back and then whirled around, looked directly at me and in Cracker (his word, not mine) says "sdhfldfhfvlhsd Hilary Clinton". I can only assume what he said was not nice so I tried to counter with a "time for change" or "there are a lot of candidates and we only have 21 months left to figure out who will be able to leap the low bar that has been set". But he would have none of it. The man poured his heart into a 15 minute diatribe on why this country needs a woman President and if elected the world will stand at attention out of respect and fear for one of the greatest trial lawyers in the country! All while I finished a beef n' cheddar. mmmm. Never make assumptions. Crackers can be left-leaning and faux roast beef with cheese whiz can be tasty.

In 1500 miles I never passed a single moving vehicle. It was a long, slow process but the cats and I made it in only 3 days. Oof.

Arriving meant only that I now had to unpack the 16-foot truck. At least I wouldn't have to move the 100 lb 3-foot tall plastic coke-bottle penny jar. So intent was I to unpack that I neglected the one rule of Florida. one rule....sunblock. So though I may say to the jealous hordes in the great white north that it is sunny, breezy and 77 degrees, it also stings a little. Curses to the bald head.

Sunset on Sanibel Harbor

1 comment:

  1. You are hilarious! Even though you despise blogs, I'm glad you broke down and decided to create one anyway. You are a fantastic writer and I feel you captured your journey perfectly. Protect that bald head!