Another No Writing Day

On Monday, hubby and I drove to California for business. We took Freeway 10 from Phoenix to Cali, and just before we got to Indio (which is still the middle of nowhere in the desert, with absolutely zero side roads) we got stopped by a complete road blockage. An accident had occurred 6 hours before. We sat there for THREE HOURS (sorry for shouting; I can’t help myself) without moving.

See the lady standing by her car? She had a child with her. How trying for both mother and daughter.

This guy wore a Seahawks shirt and tossed a football in the median. ย Like too many people he must have been going home from the Super Bowl.

There were lots of RVs and campers on the road back from the big Party. Some of the trucks and RVs were pulling cars. In the next photo, note that big fancy black RV way up there on the right.

We discovered that the accident had occurred in the early morning. A semi collided with a chicken truck. “There were no fatalities,” the news report said. You might think it sounds kind of funny until you think about all the chickens that might have been killed in the accident. ย I hope that a lot of chickens escaped into the desert where they live out their natural lives, subsisting on bugs and tender plant shoots.

Here is a scene of the accident cleanup when they finally allowed us past. Can you please tell me why it takes 8 hours to clean up from an accident when people have no way to detour and are stuck in the desert with no water, food, bathrooms, or medicine?

Next day my back was out from sitting in the car for ten hours total. What a waste of a day. Needless to say, no writing occurred the day of the roadblock or the day after either! I wrote yesterday, but my back was still bad. And today, still not good. But there is Motrin and sake–a moderately effective combo.



Filed under California, Creative Nonfiction, Essay, Nonfiction, Photographs, Writing

46 responses to “Another No Writing Day

  1. That’s awful. I can’t imagine being stuck for 8 hours!!! I guess it’s good it didn’t happen when it was unbearably hot or cold. We were once stuck on a highway–actually not that far from our house–with our young daughters. This was years ago. I think we were there for about 2 1/2 hours (?), and that was long enough. Fortunately, we had come from visiting relatives who had given our girls new Barbie Dolls, so they were happy to play with the dolls while we waited.

    • Bless those Barbie dolls ;)! How hideous to be stuck with children in the car, though. Yes, the weather wasn’t a problem for us. It could have been Santa Ana winds with the dust whipping through the car, but luckily, it was a nice day. I’m getting too creaky to sit still so long though!

  2. I Imagine that there’s probably a little colony of hens that got away somewhere lol! bt geez, 8 hours? that’s way too long for a clean up crew :O

  3. Scotch works, too, along with Advil. I prefer single malt. I feel your pain.

  4. Gosh, I’ve never been stuck in a back up for that long, Luanne. Despite the inconvenience and a wasted day, I guess you’re fortunate you weren’t involved in the accident. Poor little chickens. I guess we can all learn a lesson in patience from the Seahawks fan. I hope your back feels better. Avoid sitting and laying as much as you can. After two back surgeries, I’ve learned that walking has always helped mine.

    • Well, I could have gone that route: look at Mr. Seahawks, he inspired me. But actually I didn’t allow myself to be inspired; I was too happy to stew in my own misery. At least I had Candy Crush Soda Saga with me.
      You poor thing: TWO back surgeries. That is beyond. You are one tough cookie!

  5. You win. I was moaning because I was totally stopped on our local highway for 5 whole minutes yesterday. Of course I was in back of a truck and couldn’t see what the problem was. I never did know. I know I would not be good for 8 hours. They would need to air lift me out.

    • Cracking up! I am imagining them air lifting Kate out while she manically repeats over and over, “Gotta get home to the cats!” Hah. I understand! Last week I watched a game show while I was on the elliptical and they asked (Family Feud maybe) how many hours somebody is willing to sit in a plane waiting to take off without getting upset. One lady said 5 hours. I was laughing. Yeah, right. Um no. The top answer, I think, was 2 hours. Hubby would be out of there in 15 minutes. Maybe you would leave then too?

  6. Wow — what a drag. But you did the best thing a writer can do with a bad experience –> write a good story about it! I your back feels better soon.

  7. LOL…trust me, I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing with you. Accidents lasting for hours happen in I-4 near Disney almost every day. We’ve learned dozens of ways around Disney. When I was a little girl, my dad came upon a chicken truck that had taken a bad curve too fast and flipped. Chickens were everywhere and the guy didn’t want to try to round them all up so he was giving them away. My dad came home with a dozen white chickens in his trunk. I think we were the only family in suburbia with a back year full of chickens. But we had eggs ๐Ÿ™‚

    • What is it with chicken trucks?! I hope some people were able to get some chickens when that happened this week. Problem is that it was so in the middle of nowhere the only people there were the ones stopped right behind the accident. When that happened to your dad, do you think the truck driver was the owner of the chickens? Just curious . . . .
      I can imagine that it’s awful by Disney. This happened to us once before on the 10 but we were by Desert Center and there was a road going off into the desert. We took it and after hours meandered our way out of the desert, but it was vacant land for a long long time. We still made it past before the people who waited. And I am not kidding. So California has a history of very slow cleanup, if you ask me.
      So cool that you had chickens in your yard!!!

      • The chicken truck driver’s company was probably insured. He could have cared less about the fate of the chickens, I’m sure. Tampa is only an hour and fifteen minutes from us, but it’s almost always a four hour trip, or more. When we go over to Naples of Ft. Myers, where the RS has friends and family, we take the back roads. That assures us we’ll be there in three hours or less…not something that we would likely be able to accomplish on the Interstates.

  8. My condolences! But this is where you dig your little notebook out of your purse and start writing, for copying into your computer later on. I guess if you’re not alone you don’t have the same opportunity to do that, but maybe hubby could read a book while you write one?

    • I could write while hubby slowly loses his mind. He is a very impatient person. And he only reads when he’s on the stationery bike or the treadmill or something. So he reads daily, but only while he exercises! Which is why he likes hardcover books. Have you looked for a hardcover book lately?!

      • I was in a small town library in Montana last fall and they had a clearing out “sale” of books that hadn’t been signed out much – all hardcovers. The deal was they give you a generous-size plastic bag and you can fill it with books for 25 cents. I’ve been enjoying those books all winter.

  9. Ugh! Horrible! What can you do but sit there and wait. And yes, not sure why that cleanup took sooooo long?!

    • This happened once before, too, and it also took all day, but I think that one had at least one fatality. I noticed that Michigan has already reconstructed the whole accident that involved almost 200 vehicles a couple of weeks ago. California would take a couple of YEARS to do that.

  10. I hate that you were stuck in traffic, but I love the way you turned a frustrating situation into an entertaining post! If it were me, I would have just sat there angrily instead of thinking of taking pics. I’m trying to work on keeping my blogger mentality on more often and seize opportunities to share.

    • Haha, thanks for that, Faith! I think keeping the iPhone handy and snapping stuff on a regular basis helps keep it in my mind. I try to take at least one pic a day just to keep thinking about it. Maybe that would help?

  11. Luanne, I hope your back is alright. I love Faith’s response. You might not have written that day but you got a blog post idea. Part of writing is coming up with what to write! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I would have been soooo impatient!

  12. Great pictures and story, if too true for you.I understand stiff backs. Straight Scotch used to work for me – before Aleve. I’m glad the chickens made it out alive. Once I was stuck like that on a highway leading into Pittsburgh PA for two hours. My son and I discovered later that we were both in the same traffic delay but hadn’t known each other was traveling that day..

    • All this talk about Scotch makes me think of pulling out the bottle I keep in the back of the cupboard for my mother! That is amazing that you and your son were stuck in the same jam. What an annoying waste of time for you both!!

  13. So sorry, Luanne. Stalled traffic is the worst. I hope your back feels better and that you gain some of your writing momentum in CA. Hugs and xo.

  14. Grrrr….hate how long these kind of hold ups take, what a pain (and so sorry about your back ache, hope you are feeling better on that count). Ha…having shared how we feel when we can’t write, always such a waste of a day but glad you got some done despite it all. And I did have to laugh about the chickens, haha…bet they didn’t know what hit ’em, parden the pun… You make me laugh Luanne, love how you bring humour into even the most frustrating events, even though I know it was no laughing matter at the time… Hoping you are enjoying a calm, peaceful and pain-free weekend. Perhaps chicken is on the menu? ๐Ÿ˜‰ xoxo

  15. LOL I do hope the chickens have gone on to claim their freedom! Although I can imagine most of them will roast in the desert heat ๐Ÿ˜‰ Happily we have never experienced such a long delay here in Canada but in Africa that was a whole other story ๐Ÿ™ and oddly enough the really bad accidents involved trucks carrying livestock…

    • Now that you mention about the livestock trucks, I do get a little nervous when I am driving near one on the freeway because they always look a little precarious. And I especially do not like driving near trailers carrying horses. I always feel so sorry for them, blinded in their hoods and standing there, trying to stay on their feet in a moving vehicle, totally vulnerable to anybody hitting the vehicle.

  16. What a nightmare journey Luanne, maybe someday you’ll be able to draw on it for a poem about frustration ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. I hope you’re feeling better. Motrin and sake … I like that kind of medicine ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Pretty much. It was a bit of a problem this morning, but it’s ok tonight. I hope it’s not getting worse as I get older heh. Me too. And I’m out of sake!

  18. What a truly awful day – and one that’s all too familiar to road-users. Just glad you’re OK and you’ll get time to write, you got an interesting blog post out of it, at least! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hah, Polly, I guess so! There is always that. My back stopped the writing, too, because the back pain makes it so difficult to focus. But I hope to get some writing done over the next few days. Hope you have much writing time, also!

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