Thursday, September 22, 2005

Run or Stay? Part 2

CONTINUED... NOTE: As I drove, I saw some "unusual" sights along the way. The amount of traffic in this region this late in the evening was one of them, but there were others. One was the sight of military vehicles and personnel appearing. In some conditions this might have been alarming. In this situation, it was downright comforting. The other was the appearance of the white painted busses, with little or no markings. For people in this area (at one time, "this area" was mine as well!) those busses mean the transporting of prisoners. As I watched, more of these busses than I could count began to approach the end of the lines of stacked-up traffic. I just could not imagine 1) being trapped in traffic next to busloads of convicted criminals for hours and hours, or 2) being packed on one of those busses with a lot of OTHER convicted criminals, through the night, stuck in traffic. I thought about turning on Hwy 35, thinking it would be more of a "sure thing". When I passed it, however, I saw there were police officers prohibiting traffic entering, so I kept driving. My next possible take-off, at 521, was not blocked, but I would have to come back a long way if it was blocked further down, so I passed it up as well. At this point, I was still headed due south, toward Freeport. I was the only vehicle visible going my direction. When I finally reached 2004, just in back of the mall in Lake Jackson, I turned right, trying to work my way through to Brazoria down Oyster Creek. When I reached Oyster Creek, the road to Brazoria was barricaded. So, I kept going south. There was only one opportunity left, and I had come to far not to try it. As I approached Jones Creek, my optimism started to falter. I could see police officers in the intersection ahead blocking traffic headed straight, down 2611. I crossed my fingers, put on my right blinker, and drove toward the intersection. The nice officer waved me on, and I began my trek back to the north-west toward Brazoria once again. Brazoria was shut down tight when I drove through. All stores boarded up, shut down, and emptied out. I was able to make my turn south-west again down 521 with no interference. I didn't have trouble again until I was past Wadsworth, headed toward the nuclear plant. At Wadsworth I turned south on 60, then back south-west on 521. I caught sight of the road-block as soon as I made the turn. I couldn't believe I had made it this far before getting turned around! I drove up and rolled down my window, driver's licence in hand (ready to "prove" I was headed home). As he walked up to the window and asked where I was going, he informed me I would have to take a detour. It seems there was a very bad wreck ahead, requiring life-flight, and blocking the way. A mixture of sadness as well as relief swept over me. I turned due north on 2668. When I was at the intersection of 2668 and 60, I turned north and cut over to Bay City. I was able to pick up my direction again at Hwy 35 and headed toward home. I routed through Blessing, down and over to Point Comfort, and finally across the causeway into Port Lavaca. The lights were on at the gas pumps in the Walmart parking lot, but I was not the only one at the pump trying all of the grades in order to get one that was still available. With less than 1/4 tank left, I realized we were probably now committed to stay through the storm. I called my husband at work (night shift, in Point Comfort) then settled in to wait for him to come home. In spite of everything, it is so nice to be home!

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