Sunday, June 18, 2006

East coast blackout...

Part One.

I was in Syracuse, New York, when the lights went out, and it all went to crap. But beyond popular belief, I had nothing to do with it. Yeah, I was in pretty much every state that was affected forty eight hours before, but that was just a coincidence. I had NOTHING to do with it. I pinky swear.

I had driven with my three kids the day before. (A twelve hour drive, which took twenty hours. I suppose we weren’t supposed to see the Canadian boarder twice, thrice?) We saw parts of OHIO, except they wouldn’t let us in Cleveland. Who knew they had a dress code? An entire City with a dress code, I was impressed.
Honestly, we tried. But, the highway we were on suddenly came to an end with a huge dug out letter X in the middle of it. Guess Major Daily has larger plans than Chicago huh?
We saw Detroit and 8 mile road, at four in the morning. WAAAY wrong place to be at that time. One gas station, only spoke Korean, they pointed us in the direction we should be heading, or best they understood us. . The next was two really cool gay men, who pointed out that if we had passports or birth certificates, they could get us to Syracuse in about four hours, going through Canada. Darn it, I didn’t think to bring passports and birth certificates…WASN’T LEAVING THE COUNTRY, JUST GOING TO SYRACUSE. Err. Back towards Ohio.
The next stop was just off 8 mile road, where a gentle old black man, offered his help. He was sweeping the front of his gas station, and brought us out a map, showed us where we were, where we were heading, and exactly which way to get there. Only problem was in the middle of him highlighting our map…the local drug dealer showed up. Honest to Pete. It is five in the morning, and this guy walks up, out of know where, wearing headphones, dark glasses, a Unabomber hoodie and backpack, He walks up to the old black man, and my Daughter Deanna. When all of a sudden old black man, looks up, sees’s Unabomber drug dealer and SCREAMS…GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE…NOW!! To his credit, young black Unabomber dude, just turned and walked off. Wow! I kept looking for Emimen and Rabbit to walk out of the quickie mart. And all the help old black man gave us only cost nine dollars. He said he wanted to buy a burrito. A nine dollar burrito? But, at that point, I would have given him just about anything to get us where we were going.
Deanna kept complaining about the nine dollar burrito for an hour as we followed the map out of Michigan to the letter, the old man knew his maps that was for sure. . I was hysterical by this time, and kept laughing. I told her to shut up, or I was selling her to recoup my nine bucks to the first Polygamist I came across. They were always looking for more wives. She asked what a Polygamist was? I laughed harder.

. Oh, did I mention leaving the first exit out of Unabomber dudes territory, we overshot our exit on the major highway and I just put the truck in reverse, and backed up the highway about twenty feet? No? Well I did. I’d have enough of that town. No other cars were out at that time anyhow. Tough beans, I wasn’t gonna go down one more road to turn around and end up in Mexico, via Michigan.

Once we were in Pennsylvania, (gotta give it up to Pennsylvania for there rest stops though, fantastic. Clean, clean and sparkling clean. Never saw cleaner rest stops.
I was pretty certain we might make it now, and quizzed daughter on what she was looking for. “We stay on this road. We stay on this road till it changes from 80 to 90. Just 80/90 nothing else. You got that? Yeah? 80/90 nothing else.) I went to sleep. I woke up hours later and asked where we were? Were we in New York State yet? No? Ok, just stay on 80/90. And we should be seeing Buffalo soon.
I woke a few hours later. Where are we? Pennsylvania? How the hell could we still be in Pennsylvania? I looked at a road sign. 87. WHERE THE HELL ARE WE? AND WHY DID THAT SIGN SAY 87?!?!
As God is my witness her response was…”I was on 80 and it was going so well, I just thought I’d stay on it when it changed to that other number.” I sat staring at her dump struck. “You thought you’d just stay on the new road?” OMG. We were so far into the state we were seeing signs for NEW JERSEY. Ok, maybe not that far. But we did see all of the Pocono’s. Lovely, but about eight hours out of our way.
We ended up in Wilkes Bar around two pm. We should have been in Syracuse at nine am.
We finally did get there by four. Ragged, tired, and looking like something out of ROAD TRIP TO HELL.
Our trek had taken us from Illinois, through Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Canada, Ohio, Canada, Pennsylvania, Canada, New Jersey (almost) New York, almost back to Canada. I swear we saw the same bunch of people swimming their way towards the border all night long. I bet they reached a new life before we were out of Michigan/ Ohio. And they had found jobs and housing, before we were out of Pennsylvania.

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