It was a good plan. We were leaving Waco in the morning and taking a building from Temple to Hico. There we would have brunch at the Koffee Kup “Family Restaurant” (Read: “Pie with a Side of Bigotry”) and move the portable office at the sales lot there in town. From there we would deliver the building we’d picked up in Temple to Stephenville. We’d leave Stephenville and head to Bangs, and pick up a big cabin that needed to be delivered to Coleman. Then we’d pick up a building repo in Coleman and bring it back to the lot in Bangs. Then “home again, home again, jiggity jig.” All in a day’s work, right?
On the road between Meridian and Hico, a portion of the drive that should have taken twenty-minutes, we were stuck behind this…
This monstrosity was taking up both lanes of this two lane highway, and had a TON of escorts, including two motorcycle officers to stop the oncoming traffic and to prevent anyone (i.e. us or any of the fifty to sixty cars and trucks behind us) from passing. They also had two trucks with cherry pickers to lift up tree limbs, traffic signals, and power lines, a lead truck with flashing lights, a following truck with flashing lights, and one more truck, for which the only purpose seemed to be carrying tires for all of these vehicles in case of a flat. (I can’t imagine the jack that would lift up that load though!) They averaged between five and ten miles per hour on this stretch of highway, slowing to a stop whenever the cherry pickers had to move an overhanging obstacle. There were no other roads that we could take between Meridian and Hico, so we were stuck following them the entire way. Here is an illustration of our predicament…
Map not to scale.
It took us just over two hours to travel this short distance. Being in the truck with my sweetheart when he is stuck in traffic, especially for an inane reason like this, is a little bit like being in the truck with a hive of angry bees… in the paws of a bear… a bear who has to pee… and refuses to do so in an empty Sonic cup even if I promise to throw it out of the truck without splashing it anywhere. When we finally got to town (too late for brunch but not too late for lunch, thank goodness) we were able to take a couple of side streets to get to the restaurant. There must have been over a hundred cars and trucks behind us who also diverged onto other roads. When we parked at the Koffee Kup we were better able to see what we’d been following. Turns out, it was part of a larger convoy, transporting the components of a wind turbine. (I needed more than one picture to get a view of the entire load on one truck.)
Having some experience with dealing with the Texas Department of Transportation, permits, routing and such, I can only imagine the logistics and fees that went into planning this little jaunt. Nevertheless, I have to wonder who the yahoo at TxDOT is who approved them blocking an entire highway all day! Yeesh!
Once we got to the Koffee Kup though our day improved, because “Pie Fixes Everything.”
Don’t miss Episode Two in our epic journey: “Stuck in the Middle with You”