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July 4: A colossal non-event

July 5, 2004, 7:02 AM

Yeah, I had to work on the Fourth of July. 2-11, too, which meant no fireworks. Oh, well. Just as well, though, I guess, because it rained anyway. I was on my lunch break at work, and I commented, “Please tell me that’s someone making a lot of noise on the roof and not thunder again,” since that would be our third or fourth consecutive night with thunder and lightning. And lightning was twinkling up above for quite a bit of the ride home, too.

Speaking of the ride home, though, that was an interesting experience. Let me tell you what’s going on. The road that I take most of my trip to work on, US 340 (Stuarts Draft Highway/Rosser Avenue), is a four-lane divided highway from the edge of Stuarts Draft until well into Waynesboro (beyond Wal-Mart). As a result, you have two lanes going northbound, and two lanes going southbound, separated by a wide median. So I’m going southbound to go home, in the left lane on my side. I see headlights ahead of me, and I’m looking at them, and I’m thinking, those headlights are at the wrong angle from me to be going north. Turns out that the headlights were going north, specifically, headed directly at me. So I moved over to the right lane, and we passed harmlessly. Considering the speed at which this person passed me, they were going full speed down the highway, on the wrong side of the road. If I hadn’t moved, we would have had a head-on collision at 55 miles per hour. Unpleasant? You bet.

So this is why we’re glad I have a cell phone. What did I do? I quickly dialed 911 and told them about this driver, who was driving northbound towards Waynesboro. Since that’s downright dangerous. And on the Fourth of July, I’d guess that this person was probably drunk, and didn’t realize what they were doing.

All the more reason not to drink and drive.

Meanwhile, the weather is looking up, as the forecast is not calling for any storms today or tomorrow. Just as well, considering the doozie we had on Saturday night. Realize that it was raining so hard that when I turned out of the gas station after partially filling up my car (it was expensive gas, so I just gave me enough to tide me over until I could reach a Sheetz), I overshot my lanes and actually was driving on the shoulder for a short distance. That was frightening in retrospect, because it wasn’t until I saw the markings change for the on-ramp for I-64 that I realized I was driving on the shoulder. And I was fully alert at the time, but visibility was that poor. In fact, it was raining so hard that there was a Flash Flood Warning in effect that night.

So there you go.

Web site: "Penalties For Driving Drunk" from About.com. Hopefully they caught the person driving the wrong way, who was probably a drunk driver, after I reported them.

Song: Power Rangers Zeo theme

Quote: "Yes, going northbound in the southbound lanes of US 340."

Categories: Driving, Weather