I got up at 0145 this morning and headed 90 miles out of my way to Greer, SC to look for an available skateboard. I was able to find one and was back on the road headed to Huger, SC in 30 min.
So glad I decided to do that too as when I got to Huger to load I found out I was getting 50ft beams. If I still had the step-deck, I would have been sent packing.
I figured out where I could make it to before my 14 was up, which was exit 59 on I-26W just inside NC. Keep in mind I got up at 0145. Not to mention just finished climbing a 5 mile hill at 25mph. I just wanted to stop for the night.
When I came off the exit, I read the sign wrong and it was hard to see any civilization due to the trees. I took a right when I should have taken a left.
Guess what? Wrong move jackass!!! 15 miles or better of a winding hilly road. Oh, and it was raining. NO WHERE to turn around either. I am taking it slow and easy since the road is so narrow and in parts, I am taking up the whole road.
I found a spot that looked like I could back into, when a lady coming in the opposite direction stopped and said I could turn around in her driveway and gave me directions. I get moving again and she said it was at the top of a hill. Well, she didn't say there was a hard tight right hander just before the hill. Dummy me was in the wrong gear and bogged the engine, and than lost the pulling power. At this point I am stopped halfway up the hill. I put it in low and end up killing it twice. Remember, I am just shy of 77K lbs.
How did I get out of the situation? Glad you asked.. Luckily there was no one behind me so I rolled back down the hill and around the corner. Yeah, it was tricky. I get up the hill, almost over heat the engine, and notice there is not enough room to turn around.
I noticed a car behind me, so I pulled the brakes and asked them about a turn around. They were amazed I had made it that far and said about 3-5 more miles the road ends and to take a right at the stop sign. That would get me back to I-26.
Well, I continue down the road nice and easy. Had more hills like the first, but nailed them perfectly and didn't over heat. There were also two tight ass "S" turns that I negotiated successfully.
When I got to the end of the road and to the stop sign, there was a line of cars behind me. I got out and asked the lady behind me if I had the directions right to get back to the interstate and she said I did. Than she asked if I came from the top. I asked what she meant and than said I got off at exit 59 and obviously took a wrong turn. She was amazed that I made it through that and said that the last three trucks that made my same mistake all jack-knifed or fell off the side of the road.
I got back to the interstate and guess where it put me? At the bottom of that same hill I was telling you about earlier.
I took the correct turn off the exit this time and after I re-tightened my chains on the load, I went in to get some dew. The lady asked how I was doing and I said awesome now that I made it here. She's an older lady, probably in her 60's. She looks at me and asked where I was coming from and I told her about the wrong turn. Her eyes got all big and she said "COVE ROAD"? I guess that's what it's called.
She went on to say that I am on helluva driver to have made it through there. I said well there were parts that were hairy, but I just took my time. She said no, you are really a helluva driver young man. Than told me that she lives down there and in the past 10 years or something like that she has never seen a truck make it through there.
So, at the end of the day I guess I am pretty proud of myself! 🙂
Oh and Tonn called me today. She's my DM if I have never said her name. Anyway, she asked if my route was taking me by the house. I said no, but it can. She told me that Ed, the flat bed division manager, didn't have a problem with me taking the load to the house. So she told me to go home and would send me the new delivery date and time to my BlackBerry. Sweet!!! My new delivery date and time is the 22nd before noon.
I am 609 miles from the house where I sit. That is every bit of 11 hours at an average speed of 55. Which is probably what I will average because I have to take I-40W and that means "the gorge" again. The best part of that stretch is the two tunnels. I blow the air horn every time, which than causes all the other big rigs to follow suit. 🙂 If I am in front anyway. If not, someone else usually starts it.
Sent from my Sprint® BlackBerry®