The Trip gets weirder.
Fredericksburg found me wandering down the road from one town to another, with serendipity ruling. I wasn’t even hitching, and another kind dude that looked like he was dressed to go to a masonic meeting pulled over, apologetic. “I’m only going around six miles down the road, but I can get you a little further” A few miles later, I collapsed on the woods after all those hours (30?) for at least 14 hours of sleep (230pm-7am.)
IT took a couple of minutes the next day to shake the cobwebs out. I couldn’t remember what direction I had come from…did I cross the road looking for a campsite after I smelled a skunk somewhere near the first one? Did I cross back. There was no sun to help…It took a few minutes, but I figured it out. Water was running low again and I kept walking and walking until I reached a veterinary clinic. I popped open the laptop..and there was wifi, in the middle of the road in the middle of nowhere, Virginia. (Actually, I think the town was named “Ladysmith”…everything seemed to be named that…but the town was named something else.
Collapsed a few more times beside the road, something was just sapping any energy I had managed to build up. I heard a beep of a car going by at high speed, they kept going. About 45 minutes later, while I was hiking down the road, that same car pulled over in front of me. I hustled up to the car, and a VERY nice lady (driving her daughter) got out. She had seen me on the side of the road, thought I was hungry, had bought me a sandwich, a soda, and a bag of chips! She also inquired where I was going. She was starting a new job at the Food Lion the next day…her husband was a truckdriver. “Oh, you should go to a truckstop like the Flying J down the road a ways, you should have no problem getting a ride out to Florida there!” She offered me a ride, and I accepted.
36 hours later…and I’m still here. Every driver seemed to be going the opposite direction. After paying for a few single hours of wifi, and with the drenching storm still coming down, I got a tip from my buddy who fuels at this truckstop all the time. So long as you aren’t a dick, and don’t smell like a goat, you’re welcome to stay.
Indeed…one guy has been hanging on the chairs in the tv room for the better part of a week. I decided rto ride the storm out, bought a full 24 hours of WiFi (A WISE decision as you will see) and hung out smoking, drinking coffee.
I used the time to my advantage. I applied for six jobs online, and within about twenty minutes got my first reply. I was pre-qualified based on my resume for (DELETED UNTIL I GET THE JOB)(the same company I had experienced 4 years ago) so they promised to get back to me on the phone within three business days to schedule an interview.
Later Thursday, two others called me within a half an hour of each other. Makes me wonder what was wrong with the other three. The two that called seemed VERY interested in sitting down for an interview, and wondered how quick I could get there. I explained that I was currently “at liberty” but was in the middle of a few weeks of “doing the Appalachian trail.” I told them I was headed that way, and should be down within a week to ten days….both seemed VERY pleased to hear this, and asked me to hurry along and call them as soon as I was nearby.
One of those calls was a bit weird though. The person told me they had sort of “created” a company that I had applied too, since they didn’t want anyone to know who was actually hiring. They asked if my skillset might extend into that arena, and it did. Please Hurry along and call us asap!
The whoresbaths were just not cutting it…I smelled like a melted feta cheese pizza, that someone sprayed with fermented fish sauce and gorilla piss. The budget was getting lower and lower, but the lure of a long hot shower (versus bathing in a cold creek in the dark) was just too much. Poof went another 13 bucks.
Then, things got really weird. The “Truckers For The Constitution” rally was scheduled to happen, but the jury was still out as to if it was a hoax, or the frantic gibbering of a deranged birther, or what. I had heard estimates of anywhere from 500 to 10,000 trucks were going to DC and were going to tie up the beltway…paralyzing the nations capital.
As luck would have it, the “southern” rally point was a truckstop 6.7 miles south of me. I spent an hour of so talking to truckers all over the lot, and they all told me it was horseshit. I filed a story, sending it as a freelance “pool” style report for the PDS, BDN, PPH etc…calculating that if everyone who used my pool report tossed five or ten bucks in the hat, I’d make a quick fifty.
Later in the day, I read the Washington Post story. This was getting serious. I got ahold of the reporter who wrote it thru the story contact for, and gave her the down and dirty details. There were some wandering in..speaking in slight conspiratorial whispers…are you going? Are we all going at once?
Route 95 is a half mile from here…Route 1 less than a half mile after that. IF they WERE going to the rally point, every northbound truck would have to pass me on one of those routes at roughly 7AM.
FUCK. That means another night here…I can’t abandon a story if it’s happening to me this close. Plus, all these guys were hanging watching the Giants/Bears game, and if they were all leaving at the same time, that would make for another possibility of a bunch of SoBo drivers all leaving at the same time…Hey, buddy. I showered! Can you give me a ride out?
Witness to history, or just another dumb sucker who didn’t feel like walking or tarping up in the rain. Only tomorrow will tell.
Update: Now stuck in Petersburg, VA. Send Coffee and money.