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 Post subject: Trains and Traffic!!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:43 pm 
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Location: DuPont, WA
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Damn Atlanta traffic!! So I leave work at 4 today. It's usually a 25 minute ride home. 25 minutes into the drive, I'm still 15 minutes (on a good day) from home. Check the traffic on my handheld's Google Maps. Red and Yellow all down I-75 right where I'm at just north of highway 138. My wife is at the mall right here in this area so I call her. She says, "Try 138. I have about 10 more minutes of shopping left."

Reluctantly, I get off, head east and then head to the "short cut." Traffic is hell because of all the other schmucks who listened to their wives' advice to "try 138." Turn right onto Rock Quarry Road, drive 1/2 mile and bam, guard rails come down and a train starts going by. You have to be kidding me! Now I'm about 40 minutes out of the office. A few minutes pass and the train is slowing. Slows to a stop. Look at my watch, left the office 45 minutes ago and I'm still 10 minutes (on a good day) from home. Cars are turning around and heading back the other way. I contemplate the direction the train is going and decide that the alternate to the alternate is probably blocked by the same train or is swamped with volume from the cars turning around and the the other fools like me who decided to get off the highway.

The decision...stick it out and wait for the train to pass. It's still stopped, waiting and now reading a kids book I picked up at the library for my son earlier today. More cars that have turned around pass by. I turn to page 6, it's not a bad book so far. I look up and see that the train has started to move again slowly but surely. Cool this will be over soon because I look to my right and can see the end of the train sans caboose. The decision to wait it out is paying off. Moving, slowly inching and there goes the train past the road but the rails aren't going up. Then I hear it. Horns blaring and going as slow as the first one, another train approaches from the left. You have to be kidding me- again! I look around for a hidden camera crew because this has to be some kind of joke. Glance at my watch- 50 minutes since I left the office. Train goes by, guard rails finally go up. 55 minutes out. Driving south on Rock Quarry Rd. Hit both red lights at the next big interchange. These are long-ass lights.

Finally, over Eagle's Landing Parkway and almost 60 minutes out of the office. Over to Patrick Henry Highway and further south. Jodeco Road is backed up and nobody can turn off the single lane road. That's OK. I have to turn left to get my son from daycare. Oh, wait, not done with me yet because traffic from Jodeco is backed up past where I have to turn. 63 minutes since I left the office. Another two and I make the turn. Arrive at daycare to get Joseph. "They're out back playing." I open the door and see him. No smile today but tears because some little girl just stole a rattle from him. Short 4 minute car ride home full of wailing and "I want my mommy." Pull into driveway 70 minutes after leaving work, through the door and I poke his EQD (emergency quieting device a.k.a. pacifier) into his mouth. Quiet. Mommy comes home 5 minutes later.

"Hey, honey." I say, "How'd you get home so quickly?"

"It wasn't so bad," she says. "I just stayed off of 138."

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 Post subject: Re: Trains and Traffic!!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 4:06 am 
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Yeowch. My town (Bedford, UK) isn't enormous, but a while back the southern bypass got closed after a crash. I work to the north and live in the south and it took me around an hour to get from one side to the other, normally a 5-10 minute journey...

The worst I think I can remember was when there was a large (by our standards) unexpected snow fall a few years ago when I was out on a business meeting a few hours away. We get little and thin enough snow in this part of the UK that snow tyres and chains are _completely_ unheard of. I hit the snow at 7PM, about an hour from home. Finally got back 5-6 hours later - so many lorries in particular catching a patch of snow & ice and just stopping. One major road on my way was blocked for a while because a coach tried to climb a hill on a bend and slipped backwards down it...

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