Thursday, July 14, 2011
Relaxing..............this is what I am wishing I was doing right now. I have a great deal of tension this evening because of the drive home.
The idiot that designed our interstate tunnel on I-10 really should re-visit his degree in engineering. It was designed to come into the George Wallace Tunnel at a sharp curve after it has a lane of merge traffic that ends rather abruptly on the left side, then has downtown traffic feeding in from the right. There is also a speed limit of 40 mph with flashing lights telling you if you are going too fast. Adding to this confusion are the drivers that ignore the speed limit of 40 mph and finding themselves head to head with the curve coming into the tunnel. Jammed up you find eighteen wheelers, campers,extremely large personal trucks, work vehicles, and cars with one person just trying to get home in 5 o'clock traffic. Rare is the week that we don't hear of a wreck either East or West bound. This week found a cattle truck overturned at 10 pm that was still wrecking havoc in the morning rush hour the following day! I came upon the usual traffic jam this evening. Feeling rather smug I casually did what a lot of locals do, I got off I-10 to Canal planning to go through the Bankhead tunnel in the middle of downtown.
This was the first fatal error to my timely arrival at home. I got off
I-10 at about 5:20 getting onto Jackson to go to Government and thus the Bankhead tunnel. I found myself instead in a parking lot! The combination of traffic, stop sign, and traffic lights proved to me I should have stayed on the I-10 bayway. After no less than 25 minutes of delay, I finally found my way into the Bankhead tunnel and onto the causeway which was also backed up!
Just as I merged into traffic, lights and bells went off on the control panel in my PT Cruiser. The temperature was dangerously high and I pulled over as rapidly was safely possible, to a part of the road that intersected an oncoming ramp and the main road. I turned off the car, called my husband, hoping to find him on the way home. Instead I found him at home with our dogs in Fairhope (about 18 miles away!) I am hot, tired from teaching all day, and am now sitting on the side of the road with traffic whizzing by at dizzying speeds. He advised opening the hood, and said he was on the way. I opened the hood to find the overspill from the radiator literally boiling inside! There clearly was no adding water to this one at this time. I proceeded to sit and wait about 25 minutes for the engine to cool off. Meanwhile, A.S.A.P. (Alabama Assistance Patrol) with an wonderful young man named Daniel came to my rescue. He had the much needed water and after he added it, we turned over the motor and everything seemed fine. We both were examining belts to see what we could see and found no visible shredding. Chris then showed up and followed me home and my car's temperature never budged from the halfway point. Both of us breathed a sigh of relief, I went home and my lovely husband of 30 plus years bought dinner at the grocery store and brought it home. I finally cooled off from the 100 degree heat index and am now enjoying a glass of wine. Now, if only the thunderstorm overhead would stop so I could take a shower! Relaxing 10 x 20 $125.00