Saturday, April 21, 2012

3000 Miles to Roseholme

Driving down to Knoxville, I went via Nashville. Despite being almost exactly a hundred miles longer, it had the important advantage of the highway being intact the whole way there, a feature not shared by I-75 South.

I had planned on coming home via I-75, but Shannon showed up in the gunsmithing shack yesterday morning with a cheery "You're boned. Someone flipped his eighteen-wheeler across the median of I-75 just south of Mt. Vernon, Kentucky. The whole interstate's closed 'til at least noon." so it was back through Memphis again.

Somewhere around Crossville, I overtook Wesley Strader, apparently a professional stalker of the wild bass. Perhaps Walmart could use some of their sponsorship dollars to send him to a fancy driving school, where they teach things like "When a car is overtaking on the left, that's not your cue to speed up and keep them from getting back in the right lane." I will say that from Crossville all the way to the eastern outskirts of Nashville, Wesley was a dedicated, albeit frequent, user of his turn signals.

It had been a while... late '07? ...since I'd been on the Nashville-Knoxville stretch of I-40. I note that the giant U.S. flag that flew on the hilltop on the north side of the highway around mile marker 299 has been replaced with an equally huge, auto dealership-sized, Third National. at some point between then and now. Someone's not feeling as patriotic as they used to, apparently.

Cops were, like usual, few and far between, unlike my recent experience on I-40 in west Tennessee. On the eastbound trip I saw one pair of county mounties in Crown Vics parked in a conspicuous location on the median, probably shooting the breeze. I prefer this form of highly visible display to skulking in the bushes with a laser. I doubt they were paying much attention to passing traffic, but if your front bumper had given a big ol' mens rea nosedive, it might have caught their eye. I rolled past with the cruise control set at 69.5 kias, (78 mph ground speed according to the GPS.)

On the return leg, there was one Black and Tan with a guy pulled over up on the plateau. That's comes to one po-po sighting per hundred-'n'-fifty miles of interstate. Not much for 'em to do in the ticket-writing department, anyway; it was pretty tranquilo out there.

My clever plan to avoid the flipped semi in the median was foiled by an idiot who flipped his pickup and camper trailer into the median about fifty miles south of Louisville. I got there early enough that the back-up was only about a mile-and-a-half of clutch-melting stop 'n' go. I can only imagine how bad it got after I squeezed past.
I chewed my steering wheel in half as all the minutes I'd carefully whittled off the "ETA" on my GPS came ticking back, one at a time, like Chinese water torture, while I sat and fumed, immobilized in traffic.

Eventually, I got past and proceeded to make up for lost time, only to hit Indy in time for Friday rush hour. Joy.

I am so glad to be home.


John said...

Speaking of points South and destinations there-to, did you not once recommend a Coal Creek Armory as a fine builder of AR-stuff? Y'r personal M-Forgery, perhaps?

Anyway, thinking of such an item for the heirs, and wondered if you have ever weighed in with an article.survey/recommend of the assorted mfg's and layouts?

I see the regular gun-mag stuff, but they just don't have your flair for pointing useless and /or downright foolish add-ons, crappy parts, and generally poor attitudes towards consumers.

Might be fun for you to write, and I know it would be fun to read. Happy arrival home; y'r own pillow can be a welcome place to catch some Z's.

og said...

Glad you're home safe. I'll be on 74 in Winston-Salem come monday.

Don said...

I'm starting to believe that the stretch of I-65 between Bowling Green and Elizabethtown is the most dangerous stretch of interstate in the country. Even with all the improvements of the last few years, hardly a month goes by that we don't hear of a massive and tragic accident in that area. Just in the last year we've had at least a dozen fatalities (including a whole van full of Mennonites on their way to a wedding).

Glad you made it home safely. BTW, my house sits right above I-65 north of E'town. If you let me know the next time you're down this way we'll put on a pot of coffee for you. If nothing else, just honk as you go by :-).

Paul said...

Glad you made it home safely.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Well, just keep saying to yourself every time you're stuck and riding the clutch on these long road trips, "I could be getting a Groping from the TSA Pervs instead."

On a Wing and a Whim said...

Any time you come through Nashville, Calmer Half and I would be delighted to waylay you for lunch, dinner, coffee, or range time, if you're so inclined.

Otherwise, hope to see you next time I get up to Indy!

Glad you made it home safe, and without much interference.

Critter said...

the interstate IS lovely this time of year, no? if you should find your detour on I65 somewhat further south of NashTown, do give a shout. there are many great restaurant and truck stops along the super slide in Lower Alabama.

perlhaqr said...

I chewed my steering wheel in half as all the minutes I'd carefully whittled off the "ETA" on my GPS came ticking back, one at a time, like Chinese water torture, while I sat and fumed, immobilized in traffic.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH, so you're one of those people when it comes to long trips.

*great big hug*

I'll just say that my best time between my house here in Albuquerque and my brother's house in Oakland is 15 hours... and one minute. :D

Anonymous said...

Glad you got back safe.

Oleg Volk said...

You went through Nashville and didn't tell me? Tsk, tsk...

Alan J. said...

Hmmmm, your journey reminds me of the lyrics from the Le Miserable song, 'Master in the House'

"Enter M'sieur, Lay down yer load,
Unlace yer boots, And rest from the road. This weighs a ton, Travel's a curse...But here we strive To lighten your purse..."

Old NFO said...

Glad you had a 'safe' ticket free trip! :-)

fast richard said...

"When a car is overtaking on the left, that's not your cue to speed up and keep them from getting back in the right lane."

That's one of my pet peaves, driving a big truck. I only try to pass when the traffic refuses to go fast enough to stay in front of me. Then when I finally pull out, they speed up so that I can't get by.

You and the fisherman were probably both going fast enough to get past me quickly and stay there. It is usually easy to tell what sports cars are doing, as they do it without too much fuss. It's the drivers who are hesitant about moving through traffic that cause problems.

Stretch said...

"Someone's not feeling as patriotic as they used to"
The patriotism is still there.
It has just been transferred to a more trusted entity.
If true, sad that an entity gone for 147 years evokes more loyalty that an existent government.

Mad Saint Jack said...

Drove past that pickup and camper trailer on the way to Nashville.
They had the camper loaded on a flatbed still upside down.
Only a few minutes delay.

And hell Tam... I've only know Oleg for a week but I broke bread with the man when I got to town.

Tam said...


"You went through Nashville and didn't tell me? Tsk, tsk... "

Sorry, bro, it was a brief raid to K-town and back. Drove down Tuesday afternoon and back on Friday morning.

I'll be doing another Knoxville run late May or early June, and it'll be a more normal week-to-ten-days trip. Since I-75 will still be fuXX0r3d, I was thinking about overnighting for one or two nights in Nash Vegas...

dave said...

Not so long ago, I had the occasion to visit my parents in Dayton. When I got in (at about 2300), dad was waiting up. I walked in the door, said hi, and then remarked "y'know, I've been driving I-75 for fifteen years--"

Dad cut me off, saying "don't tell me you got lost."

"No. I've been driving that route for fifteen years, and I don't think I've ever seen the I-70 - I-75 interchange not under construction."

Dad agreed.

Jerry said...

Feel free to share with Huck and Roomie, but the Memphis thing? Shurly a typo: