10mph in a 65mph zone

After a successful trip to the Joe Nall 2017 event in Woodruff South Carolina, I was focused on my destination, home. While I enjoy traveling, this route was one I knew well and traveled often. Not as exciting as taking new roads leading to uncharted territory. Things were progressing as expected until I found myself in the middle of a massive dumping of moisture from the heavens.

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Storm closing in, the fun has yet to start

It started slowly, with a misting. Then developed into a steady drizzle. I checked the weather radar and saw what was ahead. Then almost instantly I found myself peering out the windshield with my nose on the glass, wishing my wipers would cycle much faster. There was no way they could keep up with the amount of water being thrown at them.

The truck in front of me, flashers on, was crawling along at 10mph. If I just keep his tail lights in view I’d be fine, unless of course, he drove off the side of the highway into the ditch and I followed him. Visibility was near zero, and there was a loud rattling sound of the huge raindrops hitting the roof of the van.

All of a sudden it stopped. Quiet. The wipers cleared the windshield within a few cycles. I briefly saw guy standing next to his motorcycle, drenched, wondering what to do. An erie moment that seemed to happen in slow motion. Then it all returned as quickly as it stopped.  The bridge had passed. I fondly remembered my motorcycle days of being in his position. Fun memories now, but I know he doesn’t think so at this moment.

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The red and purple areas were the worst

The storm was moving about as fast as I was, and tracking me perfectly.  It could be a while to get out of this mess. Deciding not to deal with this any longer, I checked the GPS and saw a FlyingJ travel center two exits down the highway. Sounds like a great place to spend the night and continue in the morning. I’ve always had good luck stopping at a FlyingJ for a few hours sleep, and it was about that time anyway.

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Sunrise at the FlyingJ

It was a great idea in the end. Weather was cool, windows open, and a nice breeze flowing through the van during the night. I managed to tuck myself into a spot away from the trucks, and it was nice and quiet. I arose at 4:45am to get back on the road, and was greeted with a nice sunrise. By 5:15am I was back on the road with a full tank of fuel,  empty holding tanks, fresh mug of Dunkin Donuts coffee, and a breakfast sandwich. Adios Virginia, next stop Massachusetts.

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