Jan 17, 2005

Downbeat update

I'm in Du Bois, PA, waiting to see if my thermostat's just frozen or if the headgaskets are blown.

It started snowing nasty brown slushy stick-to-the-windsheild snow in the Pochonos. The truckstops were all full of trucks with their running lights on, idling and keeping their sleeper cabs warm for the night. 80 was dark and empty, with and ugly red brown light reflecting up off the snow.

Enough desperate haulers were on the road with their missing taillights and deadlines to keep the one lane of the interstate churned up. I did a lot of down shifting on long grades and trailing trail lights at hi-beam distance to watch the way the road turned. Some town past Danville had 10 or 12 cars swirled off the road. About 3 a.m. a truck started sliding around while passing me and I pulled off the exit to avoid him, hit my brakes into a swerve and went into a spin that left me facing back up the exit swearing, praying and scared.

I got a motel room, got out of my frozen socks and slept for 6 hours. An hour in this morning I overheated. I limped into a mall, let everything cool off outside Sears where I bought antifreeze and tried to hunt down Bob's number.

I got back on the road, and the idiot temp light came on again in 10 minutes. A trucker came up to me in a phone lounge and wanted to know how I was, where I was going, where I was out of and what I was hauling. Said it sound like a frozen thermostat. The fourth mechanic's shop I tried had an open bay so now a big gruff suspender-wearing guy named Richard's got hot air blasting at my radiator.

I'm in the public library 'cross the road, 6 hours of driving from Philly, 6 hours from Hillsdale and wondering what the hell happens next.