Monday, April 7, 2008

Wyoming Crash

P4010021 Loyal readers will no doubt be aware that I lost two days of last week to a winter storm closing the roads. Wyoming is famous for not doing much to take care of the roads, they simply let them get bad, then close them. Compare that to Iowa, where you see snowplows out ahead of the storm, laying a coating on the road that helps to keep it from icing.

This picture, if you look closely, shows the parade of trucks leaving the Petro and Pilot once the road opened again - by my count it took three hours to empty the truck stops of westbound traffic - and the police were not only directing traffic to speed things up, but they were turning cars around and sending them to another interchange about a mile away.

For this particular storm, however, the two days I lost were nothing compared to what some people lost. When we finally got rolling on Tuesday afternoon, I saw four miles of debris about a hundred miles or so down the road. There was freight, tracks from all manner of vehicles, parts of vehicles, clothes and personal belongings, and a lot of stuff I couldn't identify. There was also this truck, one picture taken coming up to it, and one reasonably lucky shot over my shoulder as I passed at about 65 mph:

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I couldn't even guess at what kind of trailer that used to be. If I had a way to insert a moment of silence into my blog, this would be where.







There was another crash that Tuesday afternoon, and the drivers coming eastbound were saying it was about a six mile backup, so I stopped and tried to take a nap, hoping to wake up in the middle of the night and drive on to Salt Lake City. I did get a short nap, eventually, and then drove to about the forty mile-marker on I-80, figuring I could sleep 8 hours and then drive in to SLC (excuse me, officer, that's a typo, of course I meant I could sleep for ten hours - really, look at my log book). When I woke up the next morning, the road was a skating rink. I saw two zambonis and a couple of Red Wing Jerseys in the first mile! I finally decided to give up when I saw this:



So I stopped at that T/A you can see in the background of the picture. Luckily, the sun came out and dried up the road around ten or so, and I made my deliveries in the Salt Lake area that Wednesday afternoon. The trip to Washington was pretty uneventful. I'm now back in Wyoming, not all that far from where I was stuck last week, and this time my truck is in the shop with a transmission problem. I should find out in the morning, but right now we're optimistic that it simply needs an adjustment, and I can get back to work.

This hasn't been the best west-coast turn I've ever had, but if I get rolling early tomorrow with a small or reasonable-sized repair bill, it won't be the worst. And either way, while I might not be in a very good situation right now, I'm a lot better off than the people who spent Monday night on that four-mile stretch of Wyoming highway.

- Trevor


Rawlins, WY. Quality Inn Room 165. Using Taco John's wifi Internet access from next door because the hotel's doesn't seem to be powerful enough to work in room 165. (I ate at Taco Johns - it only seemed fair. Pretty Yummy, too.)

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