Floyd and I left outa El Paso at grey dawn.....as Muhammed would say
"when a black hair can be
distinguished from a grey hair". Well we left before then....before
"predawn nautical twilight"...
It was still dark.
We crawled over the TransMountain and got thru town alright before
curfew...all was going well.
We crawled over the Guadalupe's ok...although the wind was starting to kick.
We managed to get on down the road....things were going A-OK.
Except for the wind. Strong Wind.
Considering that we'd had a roll-over last week due to wind....and also
considering that I was worn out due
to staying up all night getting the wheel seal fixed.....I decided to
stop. Floyd found me a wide spot in Plains Texas.
Nuthin there but a Dairy Queen....not even a motel. The movie rental
place is only open two days a week.
I didn't care about movies....Floyd got me a hamburger...I wolfed it
down and went to sleep.
Woke up the next morning at dawn. I must have been pretty taard cause I
slept over twelve hours.
So we headed out.
Did OK. Vega was it's normal "fun" self....then on to Dal Hart where we
stopped to feed and fuel.
Left outa Dal Hart. The wind is kicking again. Probably 25 - 30
mph.....and it's COLD.
I was just getting straightened out on hiway 54 heading outa Dal Hart
toward Stratford when Floyd says ...
Now there ain't nuthin worse than having a pilot car say "uh-oh" unless
it's having him say "ooops". I really
hate it when they say "ooops". I immediately start shutting it down.
It's made real fun due to heavy traffic
and the cross wind.
Up ahead is cones. Lots and Lots and Lots of orangey traffic cones. I
see a little sign on the shoulder saying
something about a "traffic survey"... and "your opinion and comments
will be appreciated."
The cones are diverting all traffic off the crown of the road off onto
the shoulder. Slopeing shoulder.
Slopeing shoulder with a load that's got a center of gravity maybe
eleven foot in the air? With a twenty to
thirty mph crosswind. ...trying to push me on over? A recipe for a roll
So I stop. Right there in the middle of traffic I stop....and toot my
air horn. Up ahead there's all kinds
of cars on the shoulder....vans (mobile command post thingie?) cop
cars....radio antenna of all sorts. Lots
of geek-types wandering around.
Some dude with a clipboard comes ambleing up.
He asks me "What's the problem...just go right on thru"
I say "I'd really, really rather not roll over"
He says..." Oh...youre weight?"
I say..." Duh!"
I turn my steering wheel back to the left and slowly centerline the
rig....hell with right hand lane....I'm
going right down the zipper.
People up front start scampering around. Moving cones and cars.
I roll on up even with em and holler out the window.
"I wanna take the survey" I say.
some guy...suite and all with a HARD HAT on of all things....waves me on.
I'm adamant..."I wanna take the survey....I wanna let you know what I
He walks up a little...not too close. "Go on driver...we already KNOW
think...no need to tell us.".
Hmmmmm...probably he has a point. So I roll on.
Wind is kicking....I'm really leary about that shoulder slope....so I
hug the center line.
Floyd is ahead a mile or so warning folks over. Most folks give me
plenty of room.
And so it goes until we get to Tribune Colorado.
It's still a little early but I'm bucking that head wind.....burning
LOTS of fuel...so I call it quits.
Next morning we take out...not so much wind but we run into rain the
other side of Sterling.
Soooooooo...I have a plan.
At Hereford Colorado there's a bar and grill. We pull in there about
two or so in the after noon and park.
Floyd and I go on in and order burgers and suchlike....have a nice meal
and harass the waitress. Not too
much though cause she harasses right back. Fiesty gal.
I have her call up on the "hill"...the wind farm..she knows somebody up
there she says....and she tells me it's "shut down".
Has been shut down for two days. ...hmmmmmm..ain't communication nice?
It seems with the wind and the rain that it's a real mess. Trucks are
stacked on top of each other almost.
So why should I join the fun?
Floyd goes and gets in his camper and takes a nap. I read a while.
Later on I go into the Bar and have a few....talk to several folks who
work at the windfarm....they say it's a mess.
Sooooooooo...later on I go on back to the truck.....parked alongside the
grill.........and go to bed. Floyd's got his
VHS to working and he's watching John Wayne movies....happy as a clam.
This morning were up at dawn...dunno why.....
About the time I get coffee made and breakfast lit I hear a familiar
voice over the CB. It's Karl...a nacelle hauler.
Him, two other nacelles, a hub and a blade truck pull on by....floyd and
I join the parade.
About the time we get off the pavement things start to look a little
grim. Water puddles grim.
Then I hear over the CB...."ooooooops"
From a Pilot Car that's bad...from a DRIVER....well....... I stop.
I stay stopped for quiet a while. One of the Nacelles spun out going up
the hill. They had to get a
Road Grader to pull him up the hill.
Are we having fun yet? I told Floyd we shoulda stayed at the Grill and
had Breakfast...he agreed.
Eventually...we got rolling again...and here I am..
What a mess....
No....were NOT having fun yet.