Riders on the storm while driving semi

Gary Noth

As you can see, I do like to write about different stuff that happens around town and some parts of my life. I loved cross country semi driving, for it opened up seeing America to me. It wasn’t all sunny skies.

The dispatch had called me at home and needed a trailer delivered to Columbus, Ohio, from Cincinnati, a run of about 100 miles each way. But it was winter. As I picked up the trailer and headed north, the weather got worse. Icy highway, and I came up on a line of semis going 10 mph and I was at the back. The passing lane looked good, so I took it and passed semi after semi. The radio came alive with not so kind words of an idiot driver. Yep, that was me.

As I neared the last few semis, the guy fourth from the front goes, “I’ll stop him,” and pulls out in front of me -- I was doing about 25 mph. I let up on the gas pedal and fortunately came to within four inches of his trailer. He started laughing on the radio, so I told him that when I pass him, I’ll send him six reasons why he shouldn’t have done that -- an accident would have shut down the highway.

As I pulled alongside him to pass, I showed him what a Colt Python looked like, and he backed off quickly. As I drove north, the weather became horrible, and when the wind blew my trailer sideways, some quick wheel turning and then turning back to straighten out the rig saved me. I decided it was time to pull over and went to sleep. A state trooper pulled up and told me I couldn’t park there, so I pulled on out. That was the easy part.

On the return trip, I counted 18 semis and 22 cars in the median, and then I came upon a three-mile traffic jam. The bridges over the Big and Little Miami Rivers were snow covered, and everyone was waiting for the snowplow. Of course, everyone except me. I passed all the trucks and got to the front. The road dips down to the bridge and then rises upward to the other side, all covered in a foot of snow or more.

The CB breaks with, “We got an idiot!” Yep, that was me, again! I put the truck in bulldog and eased on down to the bridge, staying off the brake. When I hit the bridge, I went into second gear and eased on over the bridge. The CB came alive: “How was it?” “Is it safe?” I got on the radio and told ‘em, “Don’t try it guys. Wait for the snowplows.” Some days, I wonder if they are still waiting.