Seeing the road closure notices brought back memories of a similar trip I made years ago. In the early 1990's I drove to GA to breed one of my girls, and on the way home there was a fiery tanker truck accident on Route 81 in VA that closed the entire northbound roadway for days. This was so long ago that it was before LCD signs and cell phones-we all just had CB radios to tell us where Smokey was hiding. We didn't have a GPS talking to us on the dashboard-we had to know how to read a map! Well, around northern North Carolina we started hearing CB chatter of huge northbound backups in VA. By the time we were entering VA, the idea of a convoy had developed. When the traffic slowed, and it appeared we were going to be forced off farther up the road, a batch of drivers decided to take the next exit off Rt 81 and go around all the traffic. So, I decided to throw in my lot with them-it beat sitting in traffic for hours, even if I had no idea where we were going.
These little towns were totally unprepared for the large number of semis in our convoy descending on local roadways. We drove through a batch of small towns whose names I never knew, and proceeded to wind our way up and down the narrow mountain roads until we reached Roanoke. When the local police departments realized what was happening, they started waving us through the traffic lights and holding traffic at intersections so we could all get through and not back up the roadways. Yes, the chatter on the CB was all about that old 'Convoy' song, but it was SO COOL to be in the midst of all these truckers. They did watch out for us 'little ladies' driving minivans, and made sure that we were OK while we were watching brakes smoking on the trucks ahead of us going down the mountains. It was late and I was exhausted by the time we hit Roanoke, and I found a hotel that took pets so I could get some sleep.
The next day, I consulted my trusty Rand-McNally road atlas and figured out how to get around the blockade on Rt 81. The minivan was starting to act up, but I was pretty sure it would get me home...the alternatives weren't pretty. The rest of the road trip was uneventful, except that the engine temperature kept trying to climb when I stopped-so I did as little of that as possible. The van got me almost all the way home-when it started spewing white smoke I pulled into a repair shop about 15 minutes from home and had a friend pick me and the dog up for the rest of the trip home. Oh, and that trusty Dodge Minivan? The mechanic said something about antifreeze in the engine block... Oh well, nothing a credit card and a mechanic couldn't figure out...
So much for the trip down memory lane. Now back to the reason for the trip-far as the dog show goes, we're always happy when the judges find our dogs, even if it's for a fourth place ribbon in a larger class. We use the shows to gauge what we need to work on, what changes we need to make to our training, and figure out our show schedule. Looks like I'll be traveling the summer show circuit with Faith, trying to get her to respond more readily to judges and new situations. Here's hoping she'll figure it out!