Friday, June 13, 2008


Me: I better call Rachel and tell her we're gonna be late.

Mom: Here, you can use my phone.

Me: Thanks.

Me: Rachel? Hi there. How are you? Well, the reason I'm calling is to let you know that we're going to be late. Really late. We're sitting on 70 right now and we've gone about a half a mile in the last hour. Yeah, right. Right. Well, they have 70 completely closed due to flooding, so I think they are routing us off. Uh huh. Yeah, we're just sitting here. Yeah, watching the snails do laps around us. Swimming laps, that is. There's water everywhere. Yup. Well, I think we have about six miles to go before they kick us off 70, then we head north to 40. I don't know how long we're going to be on 40, but we're not moving quickly at all. Right, right. Yeah. Well, I'll give you a call later when we know what time we're going to make it in. Heck, we might have to stay in Indiana tonight. We might not make it out. Okay. Okay. Yeah, I'll talk to you later. Love ya too.

(Three hours later)

Mom: Finally! There's the exit.

Me: Yeah, now we just need to sit in more traffic to go three miles north to 40, and then who knows how many miles west to get back on 70.

Mom: Well, is there any other way to go?

Me: Well, we could try going south. We might be able to cut west and north and pick up 70.

Mom: Now, there's a lake down there, isn't there?

Me: Yup. And we would have to cross a river.

Mom: Do we cross the lake?

Me: No, we don't. We can cut across just north of the lake.

Mom: Hmm. Well, let's try that. Beats sitting in traffic with these trucks.

(ten minutes later, as the roads are getting progressively narrower)

Mom: Well, it must go somewhere, or else where would all these cars and trucks be coming from?

Me: Yeah, but they can't be avoiding 70 because the east-bound side was open to traffic.

Mom: Well, they're coming from somewhere.

(ten minutes later)

Mom: Hmm, there's a barrier here. But there's a car, so obviously people can get through.

Me: Watch out!

(Mom stops the car and we sit there, staring at the several feet of water running over the road).

Me: Guess that car came down here and had to turn around... like we're gonna have to.

Mom: Can we go further south?

Me (looking at the map): Well, we can try to go further south and catch 64.

Mom: How far are we from that?

Me: Hmm, maybe an hour and a half, two hours.

Mom: But then it's quicker.

Me: Well, it only cuts about 30 miles off our trip across Illinois.

Mom: Still, it beats sitting in traffic.

Me: No argument there. So, we gonna try it?

Mom: What do you think?

Me: Uhhh... Might as well. I mean, it's not like there's massive flooding in the state of Indiana or anything.

Ten minutes later, heading south. I'm still glancing at the map, but we're both eying the water around us nervously. Most of the fields we pass are completely under water. The water hasn't made it on to the road yet, but it is really close in places. We've crossed over a couple of creeks that have breached their banks. The water is muddy and rushing. It is also raining pretty hard, and every time we go over a slight rise, I'm expecting to find the road covered in water. I'm also watching all the water around us, just in case it rises to cover the road. But Mom and I have just spent three hours to go four miles, so we're both more than a little punchy. We're cracking jokes about being swept away.

Me: Mom?

Mom: Yeah?

Me: Remember that county that the radio said had been declared a national disaster area?

Mom: ?

Me: Greene county.

Mom: Yeah.

Me: Well, I feel I ought to mention that this road that we're taking...

Mom: Yeah?

Me: Well, not only does it go through Greene county...

Mom: Uh huh.

Me: But it cuts a diagonal across it.

Mom: Uh huh.

Me: Yeah, and I also feel that I ought to mention that this road that we're gonna take...

Mom: Yeah?

Me: Well, it goes along a river.

Mom: Oh great.

Me: Yeah. I think we're f*cked.

Mom: Probably.

Me: Oh well.

Mom: But there are trucks coming from the other direction. Of course, we all know that that is not the most reliable source of information....

Me: Yeah, they've probably all turned around.

Mom: Yeah.

Me: You know what's going to happen, right? We gonna hit some water, and we gonna turn around and head back north, and the road will be covered. We'll be stuck in Indiana. We're never going to make it out of Indiana.

Mom: Aren't we Miss Suzie Sunshine.

Me: Just trying to keep our spirits up.

At this point we decided that we were both a little bit hungry. We agreed to stop at the first food place we saw, which just happened to be a McDonald's. When we went inside, there were a couple of old-timers talking about the current weather situation. Mom went over to talk to them to ask them about the roads.

Mom: So, can I go south along this road to get to 64?

Old timers: Nope, can't do that. Whole road is closed. Runs along a river, burst it's banks. Everthings closed up down there.

Me: What about heading west then north to pick up 70?

Old timers: Nope, that won't work. Everthing over in the direction's closed too. Roads are under water.

Mom: Well, what would you recommend?

Old timers: Go north to 70, take that west.

Mom: But 70 is closed.

Old timers: Well, go a bit north of that and you can take 40 west.

We wound up taking the Old Timers' advice and heading back north. As we got to 70, a road worker was in the process of moving the cones from the entrance ramp, so we were able to get on 70 west-bound. I couldn't really tell what part of it had been under water because everything was so wet. Just beyond the highway, water stretched out over fields. I might have thought they were just all lakes, were it not for the telephone poles and trees sticking up. There were houses on slight rises, looking like little islands. There were roads that disappeared under muddy, fast-moving water. The water was too close for comfort, and I half expected to see a giant wall of water rushing towards us.

It all sounds pretty tame, and I guess it was. But for awhile there I think both of us doubted that we would be able to make it out of Indiana. And let's face it--Indiana is not really a place you want to get stuck.

More later. I went sailing today and came back with a couple of ticks and some chiggers. I'd say I was doing something wrong had the trees not been in the water. : )


At 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More wow.

Glad you got through Indiana relatively non-soggy and safely.


At 6:50 AM, Blogger Ovonia Red said...

I was pretty convinced that we were not going to make it through. I had to keep calling my Aunt and telling her to push our arrival time further and further back.

"God willing and the creeks don't rise" has taken on a new depth of meaning.



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