Thursday, August 17, 2006

In A Jam.

We just did a drive of almost 1500 Kilometers in one day, from Edmonton to Vancouver area. We set off at 730 in the morning. My kids are amazing. They didn’t have one single squabble or scrap all that way. They have really grown into fine people. 16 hours crammed in the back of the car and they got along great. We all took turns picking C.D.s . When it was David’s turn, of course the Black Metal would be selected. At his turn, the front speakers got turned off and the windows opened to drown it out. When it was my pick and the country music came on, the back speakers were turned off and David wore his ear phones! Quite the strategic system we have in place. eh? But, it keeps everyone happy. They all had books to read too. So that used up a lot of travel time with noses between the pages. Wish I could do that, but reading in the car makes me queasy. Even looking at the map can make me feel yucky.
What should have been a 14 hour trip had 2 extra hours added to it due to a traffic blockage. There had been a fatal accident on two-lane Highway 5 south, just North of Kamloops in a town called Barriere. It was a really pretty spot, in a valley of farms surrounded by hills. We had to wait for the coroner and the police investigation before they could let traffic through. It was hot waiting on that open road. There was a nice local man caught in the jam with his shopping. He went along the road handing folks bottles of water from his trunk and offering rerouting information for some people. What a nice fellow. We however, were stuck there for the duration. The police said it would be two hours at least.
So we sat it out on the tarmac. I took photos of the farms near by. Keith did his Sodukos, The kids read their books. Patiently passing time. Feeling empathy for the lives lost just a few feet ahead. If we had been a few minutes faster, who knows? It could have been us in that accident. When the kids said ‘Man it’s hot waiting here”, I said “Well, we are better off than the guy laying in the back of the coroners wagon”. They all agreed and had an opportunity to ponder how life is an avalanche of near misses and ‘what-ifs.
Shortly, another man came along, asking if we had any spare batteries for his camera. He said he wanted to take photos of the accident scene.
“Do you realize there were a couple of fatalities?”” I asked.
“ Yeah, I heard”
“ Don’t you think its kind of morbid to photograph that?”
“Doesn’t bother me, I’ve seen dead people before”
“If those were your loved ones on the road, would you mind people photographing them?”
“Well, see, I collect photos of accident scenes, I have quite a good collection at home”
“Sorry, I don’t have any batteries”
To top it off this guy had his young daughter following him around. “Come on Sweety, if we hurry, we can see them shoveling the motorcyclist off the asphalt”.
You meet all kinds.
Then of course there were the people who drank the bottles of water from the first nice man Well, as you may guess nature taking its course, as it will, left them in a knees together predicament.
Luckily for us, we had just had a bathroom break a few minutes before we came to the jam. It was good entertainment watching folks go into the bush pretending to look for berries!
The best entertainment by far, was the logging truck. Now, I know these guys are good drivers. They maneuver these monsterous vehicles along narrow, winding, steep dirt roads. But they don’t usually try to turn them around in the middle of a traffic jam on a two-lane country road, with ditches on all sides. He started trying to back into a driveway, that also had ditches running along it. Drivers in their cars started trying to get out of his way. Nobody was going to argue with this fella. He shunted back and forth for ten minutes, obviously in a futile effort to back in to this driveway. Having an audience cheering him on couldn’t have helped. Finally the farmer came down on his ATV and told the guy, “If you just drive up here forwards, ill let you turn your rig around in my field.” So that’s what he did, and then he was soon headed back up the road.
By the time the emergency crews and tow trucks left, the line-ups were a mile long. We were a mere 10 cars back from the scene, so were some of the first vehicles to get by once they started one lane traffic with flag men. By the time we got going, the sun was going down.
We finally arrived home at 11 pm. Stiff and tired. We all crashed into bed and slept late the next day. Amazing how sitting in a car all day can wear you out! I really enjoyed the drive, it was a beautiful journey. And with such good company, I was one happy little traveler.


Dick said...

Isn't it nice to have at least one extra day when you return from a trip to recouperate before having to return to work? I always tried to plan trips that way & then I had a cousion in case we got delayed. But 900 miles is a long way to go in one day.

Barbara said...

I love people and their Random Acts of Kindness. Bless the man with the water! Glad you all had the chance to sleep in. :)

Ms. Vickie said...

Wonderful you are here now safe and sound----for some reason I thought with the last post you were home.

Now to recover---well relax. I know all about Missy but I am finding these days I don't travel as well as I did due to her and that is so distressing because I loved travelling but more than that I loved to drive---it always relaxed me to drive. Now it matters not if I drive or ride two hours and I need a break and four is max for me.

oopseedaisee said...

we did get home in the previous post. I just wanted to share some of details of the drive. So dont worry, not your mind goin on ya!

barbschellenberg said...

It sounds like you had quite an adventure coming home! I'm glad you all made it home ok :)

Chana said...

hello. nice to meet you. thank you for such a lovely comment.

funny enough guess what we are doing next thursday staring at 3 am...we are going from home, Calgary to Hope for about 3 days...and then hopefully take all the kids, 5 mine, 1 my bf, to see the ocean for the first time..

i am nervous too...i don't like the winding roads, although the view can't get any more beautiful..and because their are 2 house fulls going, we had to rent an SUV that holds all of us..first time driving it for both of us, so this too, shall be interesting..i hope you don't see us in the news..God Help us.

how terribly sad that there were fatalities. i'm sorry that guy thought it was alright to take pics..i'm sorry his little girl won't know any better..

thanks for the tips in how to travel with kids..hopefully we won't do so bad. our kids ages are from 7-15 should be interesting...going to Edmonton, i get a million are we there yet? i'm

we are going prepared i think..a couple of portable dvd's, game boys and mp3's...

well, glad you are back safe and sound. again, thanks for the visit.

Gary said...

That accident picture taker sounds pretty strange. I don't think I would want to know him. I definately wouldn't want him following me around. :)

Coll said...

Wow.. that was quite the trip. Your kids are better travellers than me. I tend to wine after 10 hours.