Saturday, November 17, 2012
Stuck in Major Traffic
Three weeks ago I traveled to Johnstown, PA, to finally meet Lynn Rutz of Allegria Images. We'd been trying to meet for almost two years; either her schedule wasn't in line with the stars or mine wasn't. Finally, that old cliche, Third time is the charm, kicked in and we met.
It was also my first visit to Johnstown and I was anxious to see the site of the dam where the Johnstown flood happened. While standing on one side of what's left of the dam, Lynn told me some of the history of the flood. A huge swale leaves a poignant reminder of one of the worst flood's in history that wiped out thousands of people and leveled the town in ten minutes. (If you're interested in learning more about the Johnstown Flood, David McCullough's, The Johnstown Flood, the incredible story behind one of the most devastating "natural" disasters America has ever known is an excellent place to start.)
From there we took a ride on the Johnstown Inclined Plane. Built in 1891 in the aftermath of the 1889 devastating flood, it is the World's Steepest Vehicular Incline and is listed on the National Register of historic places. It was my second time on an inclined plane.
Also attended a Halloween Concert by the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra. Didn't know they had a symphony and they were amazing. All the symphony members were dressed for Halloween, which no doubt made it slightly more difficult to play their instruments.
Would have liked to have spent more time with Lynn but Hurricane Sandy was hastening my departure, which leads me to the photos in this post. It took me just over five hours to get to Johnstown but the return trip was the trip from hell.
I was about an hour, maybe less, from my exit off I-80 when I found myself in traffic gridlock, both lanes. For the longest time, the traffic hardly moved. After an hour, not knowing what happened, I called my daughter and asked her to jump on the Internet and see if she could find anything about the traffic tie-up on I-80. (No, I don't have a smart phone; am quite content with my dinosaur flip-phone model.) After 15 minutes, she calls to tell me an accident had shut down all lanes, going in both directions.
Not knowing how long traffic was going to be tied up, after the third or fourth stoppage I pulled out my point-and-shoot and since it was raining already (no doubt early signs of Sandy's imminent arrival) there were a lot of truckers about. I liked the way the trucks' lights and the rain mixed together creating a lot of colorful blur. I like night shots and don't get to do it much and it was a way for me to pass the time waiting. (I was impressed with how patiently everyone waited for traffic to move. No one hotdogged up the shoulder trying to get ahead.)
Two and a half hours later, I finally saw the accident while moving slowly and carefully as two lanes funneled down to one. A tractor trailer attempted to jump the concrete divider and luckily for the trucker, only the front left quarter of the truck's cab was involved. As I slowly squeezed through the cattle shute, I hoped the trucker was all right.
I got home safely and rolled into the driveway at the stroke of midnight. It was a great trip but I was tired and definitely glad to be home!!!!
There just is no place like home, is there?