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The Lost Highway

The Road Turns Tragic

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I’m a rollin’ stone, all alone and lost
For a life of sin, I have paid the cost
When I pass by, all the people say
Just another guy on the lost highway

Just a deck of cards, and a jug of wine
And a woman’s lies makes a life like mine
Oh, the day we met, I went astray
I started rolling down that lost highway¬†~~~¬†“Lost Highway” (Hank Williams)

We had an awful experience today – sometimes the road turns tragic.

We’ve been crossing the country for several weeks now and – with a few exceptions – it has not been pleasant.

We ran into several 105+ degree days – and lots of smoke (and we almost died earlier this summer in 117 degrees and 6 consecutive days of 100+ degree extreme heat).

But, we had not seen one traffic jam, not one police incident, and not one car crash. (We drive 99% of the time on rural one lane roads, not Interstates).

But today, after a long day of interstate driving (which I hate and avoid), just 10 miles from our exit off I-80 near Stroudsburg Pa., we hit a wall of traffic.

After 45 minutes, we figured it best to just get off the road and park for the night.

I found a spot at an abandoned car wash next to a gas station. I walked the dog before bed and settled down with the radio.

That’s when I heard Hank Williams’ classic “Lost Highway”.

Moments later, there was a tremendous BOOM!! and I looked out the window to see cars spinning off the road into the dust.

The dog freaked out. I got him under control and ran to see what happened.

It was horrific.

In exactly the spot I had walked the dog not 10 minutes prior, was a minivan, totally destroyed, its contents and bodies were spewed everywhere, and a family of at least 8 people trying to extricate themselves from the destroyed vehicle. Another SUV was smoking and off the side of the road.

The father of the hit minivan was cradling the limp body of young infant son in his arms, hysterically shouting trying to keep him alive. The mom was freaked out trying to get her kids out of the van. Several samaritans immediately helped out.

It was awful – I had to literally run away back to the bus. Too much suffering to absorb.

Sorry, to lay this on you, but I needed someone to share it with and get it out of my head, it’s too great a burden to hold onto. Here comes the ambulance now – maybe 20 minutes later.

PS – there was no sound of screeching brakes – a full on high speed crash. The family was hispanic and from NJ.

[End Note – another amazing thing is that, as I walked the dog back to the bus (before the crash), I noted maybe 10 people – all black and hispanic – with backpacks hanging outside the gas station.

I assumed that this was a new form of hitch hiking.

I thought that overnight at this spot could he dangerous, as these folks were sure to approach the bus, just 100 feet away (was that racist?).

I was wrong.

Moments later, a red van rolled up, and all 10 (or more) piled into the van. It was a commercial enterprise “Hazleton Commute” or some such BS logo.

The van was probably running Pocono weekend labor back into the NYC – NJ metro region.

I’ve not seen this kind of exploitation as bad, even on the Mexican border.

Insane.

They left just minutes before the crash – but it could just as well have been them.

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