I worked night shifts Tuesday and Wednesday, slept some Thursday morning and began to drive home Thursday evening. I was planning to be home late-- around 1:30 or 2 am. Little did I know what awaited me. I find it ironic that as I was driving, making good time, I thought to myself, Wow, I'm surprised; usually by now I've come across something odd, or something crazy has happened. Because the drive home for me is almost never uneventful...
I was getting off the phone with Emily as I noticed that there was a small host of red brake lights.
Oh, man. It looks like there was an accident.
Sure enough, there was an accident. And it was very recent. I came to a stop and watched as the police cars kept filtering in one at a time with their flashing blue lights. Eventually a fire truck came and parked next to me (I was very near to the accident, there were only about 6 cars in front of me).
I sat there for nearly an hour before a firefighter came to my window and said, "You might want to turn off your car and save some gas. It's gonna be a while."
"Like how long do you think?"
"About 2-3 hours probably."
Oh dear. At the time, I was less worried about the delay this would cause me and more worried about the fact that I'd been needing to use a bathroom for the last hour. Why did I decide that drinking lots of water on a long trip was a good idea?
I got out of the car to assess the situation. I was in the middle lane. On the left, there was a guardrail and a bit of a grassy ditch between I-81 North and I-81 South. On the right side, there was a cement ditch, a fence with barbed wire across the top and tall grass on the other side, and a small service road. There was also a little house across the service road.
I called my mother for some advice because I wasn't so sure about climbing the barbed wire fence (especially since there was a cop car on the other side and I was afraid of getting "talked to"). After talking to her for a while, I decided I'd take my chances.
With purse in tow and special climbing flip flops on, I jumped the ditch and began to climb. My first thought was: If this barbed wire cuts me, they're going to have to take me to the hospital and give me a tetanus shot. Very shortly after this, I thought: I hope there aren't any snakes in the tall grass I'm about to jump into. Not sure why, but for some reason, I really felt a little bit like a criminal as I climbed a barbed wire fence in the middle of the night.
I made it over and crossed the road with no problems (and no snakes or cuts). I ran down the small hill and up to the house. Now, lest you think me completely reckless, I will say something in my defense. I looked around the porch and observed the following things: a porch swing with a quilt on it, potted plants, and a flower bush growing on the trellis. After noting these things, I decided that the house was probably safe and knocked on the door.
No one came, but I noticed lights on at the back of the house. I trekked around the house and just as I began to ascend the stairs of the deck, I found myself face to face with a large dog. Needless to say, I was more than slightly startled. It walked quietly over toward me, as I prayed that it would not bark or bite. I started petting it and went and knocked on the door.
A man and his mother came to the door, looking a little bit scared (it was 10:30 at night after all and there was a stranger pounding on their door), and as I explained my plight and asked if I could use their restroom, the woman said, "Are you alone? You don't have any guns do you?"
"Um, yes. I'm alone, and no, no guns. I just need to use a restroom really badly."
"Do you know how dangerous this is?"
"Yes, but I prayed before I knocked," I said while laughing.
She led me in and let me use the restroom. When I came out, I was talking to her about the accident and I told her about climbing the fence and her dog scaring me. Then she told me, "I was just telling my son that it's a wonder you didn't get bit!"
Hmm. I guess my angels were working overtime. We parted ways as I thanked her profusely and she gave me multiple admonitions to be careful and lock my doors when I got back to my car.
I walked back across the service road and climbed the fence (nearly ripping my shorts). Unfortunately I hadn't thought about where I was going to land once I got over the fence because the cement ditch was right next to the fence... So as you can probably imagine, my second trip over the fence was not quite as graceful as the first.
When I got back to my car, I locked my doors, laid back my seat, and decided to take a nap. But alas, the flashing blue lights were reflecting on my windshield, especially now that another police car had parked right in front of and to the right of me. I finally managed to sleep for about 30 minutes and very confusedly awoke to the sound of my alarm and a policeman knocking on the passenger side window to tell me that we would be moving again soon.
Thankfully, I made it home by about 4:30 with only one other slightly odd observation. At one point, there was a truck in front of me, and I was quite surprised to realize that there were people staring back at me from the bed of the truck. I guess I've just never seen people riding in the back of a truck on the interstate... I mean, on dirt roads, yes. But on the interstate? Anyway, it was slightly disconcerting because they kept staring back at me.
So there is my nighttime adventure for this trip. I hope you were entertained