In trucking, nothing is ever written in stone… Ever! As Aug 21st came closer, I sent off a note to our dispatcher just asking if by chance they could plan to send us somewhere on Monday that would give us a chance at seeing the total eclipse, thinking it was probably improbable. Sometimes the planners do pay attention to our requests but business is business and it’s usually first unless our request trumps theirs. Eclipses are definitely not a trump card.
Late Saturday morning we received our marching orders… a 600+ deadhead (empty trailer) to pickup a load in LA area and head north to Tacoma. Perfect timing. Now if only the traffic wasn’t heavy. Sunday we headed north in abnormally heavy traffic. I-210 had its normal LA angst and I-5 would come to a halt every now and then for no explicable reason. When I began driving at Corning, CA we had 380 miles to go and a mandatory shutdown from the company ordered between 8-noon. I had to hurry if we were to make it before we had to shut down.
Pushing hard we made it to Brownsville, OR with cars, lots of them all around. Then traffic came to a halt. For every 5 southbound cars there were 50 northbound cars. Google maps indicated an accident, but for 5 miles we crept to the spot and then just as suddenly broke free. And there was no accident, just a lot of cars.
The truck stop we parked at in Albany was flooded with cars everywhere. People everywhere! Lucky for us there were 4-5 parking spots for our truck. We phoned my dad and joined their small backyard eclipse party. What a treat! Fruit, donuts and a platter of fried pig, milk, juice and hot drinks plus a sunny back yard with a perfect view of the sun and viewing glasses.
The eclipse had already started by the time we arrived and we joined the others watching and waiting. It was all very well worth it and a huge blessing to witness and be a part of it!
Afterwards we had a pool party. That was a treat too! We have been on the road 7 weeks this week without a break and Kevin tells me I’m getting mean! Traffic coming north was no picnic. It took over 7 hours to get up to Tacoma. Ha… we won’t have driving jobs during the next eclipse!