Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mountain Drivers

Let me set the scene for you. I'm driving down Highway 88, a clear mountain road. Speeds range from 35mph curves to 55mph (or more) on straight aways. Two lanes, one each way and about as wide as your normal city street.

I'm coming back from Bear River Reservoir yesterday and there is a white Chevy pickup in the front of the line, a dark gray Chevy pickup next, and them me. Behind me is a 40 foot tractor trailer loaded with hay to the tune of about 45,000 lbs to 50,000 lbs doing the same speeds we are.

Coming the other way is one half of a modular home preceded by the California Highway Patrol with full lights and sirens. Following that is another CHP with lights and then a pace car with a "WIDE LOAD" sign on the roof. Half of the modular home follows taking up all it's lane and two feet of our lane. OK, no problem just veer over to the side a bit and keep going, right? Naw, the white Pickup stops dead in the center of the road.

This, of course makes the gray pickup stop and then I have to stop, with the hay truck barreling down the highway behind me. The question here is, can he stop? The modular home goes by and the white truck moves as does the gray truck and me before I become a hood ornament for the hay truck.

Now comes the good part. The second half of the modular home comes with the CHP (lights & sirens) and the CHP (lights only), and the pace car with a "WIDE LOAD" sign on the roof. Same thing this time, it covers all of it's lane and two feet on ours. Again the IDIOT in the white truck stops in the middle of the road to let it pass, then he pulls off, well I have to say half on and half off the road and then stops to let us pass him. Don't forget that there is a line of traffic coming behind the two modular home vehicles that a good mile long (OK maybe 25 cars long). Oh, and also don't forget the 50,000 lb hay truck still barreling down the road behind me. WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH THIS GUY?

The guy in the gray truck passes and I pass and then we both dropped the hammer (little trucker talk). By the time the hay truck got to the white pickup, we were long gone with our bodies still intact. I don't know what happened from there. I hope nothing.

My point here is PAY ATTENTION when you're driving on mountain roads. Pay attention to what's in front of you, what's coming in the other lane, and what's behind you. Those guys pulling hay trailers CAN NOT stop on a dime and let me tell you, there are a lot of hay trucks running the mountain roads and they are hauling butt as well as hay.

So as they say on NYPD Blue "Let's be careful out there".  

All right, I'm done whining.



  1. To all those good people reading this blog...BE WARNED...I have driven with Mark on those same back country roads and he is a MANIAC behind the wheel...He drives like a NYC the "Touch System"..."Oh...I don't think I touched that (insert here: tree, car, pedestrian, hay truck)too hard, I'll just keep going...

    Your friend,

    1. What are friends for, other than to scare the hell out of you and I DO NOT drive like that..

  2. Wow, the thought of a New York cab driver on California roads is too scary to even want to imagine. Mark if I ever get out there to fish with you...I'll drive.

  3. Being in NYC cabs often I would say that Mark will get you to your location and in record time if the tip is right.

  4. The guy got his drivers license instead of a birth certificate.
    I hate idiots on the road.