The other day, I headed out for what I thought would be just another uneventful road trip. Normally, things go fairly well during these trips, but every now and again, something happens that becomes memorable.
One such memorable instance happened during this trip, while I was on my way from a shop in Georgia to another in Pennsylvania. Since I was headed north, my travel happened to take me through Knoxville, Tennessee.
I decided to make what I thought would be an easy, unannounced visit to a shop in Knoxville, just to check in and see how things were going -- what could go wrong?
I found out exactly what could go wrong after I drove about a quarter mile down this little two-lane road that was supposed to take me to the shop. I’m sure you noticed the picture at the top of the page, and were able to realize exactly what could, and did, go wrong. However, in case the obvious scenario was missed, the image depicts a situation where the approaching underpass might present a problem. According to the sign, the overpass is only 5 feet 11 inches high. Really?!?! Why would any city or town build an overpass that is only 5 feet 11 inches high? What the picture doesn’t show you is that the enclosed trailer I was toting is slightly taller than 9 feet high. You can laugh at this point; I did while I sat in the middle of the road. I also noticed that I was apparently not the first person to be the recipient of this surprise, because I noticed a couple of dual-wheel skid marks immediately after the sign, and just prior to the surprise.
As I sit there contemplating my retreat -- which will be in reverse, by the way -- I get the impression that this must be an everyday occurrence. I surmised that, since the cars that are getting in line behind me are peacefully going around without blowing their horns or yelling obscenities at me. So, as I look in the rearview mirrors at the narrow, winding road behind me, I knew I only had one option, and completing that option was almost a quarter of a mile away. I guess that I should’ve taken comfort in the audience that gathered during my retreat, as people began to come out of their houses to show me their support. At the time, that’s what I had hoped they were doing, but the possibility was there that they are coming to see the inevitable accident that might occur. Fortunately, they let me know -- several times I might add -- that I was in fact not the first person to get blindsided by this surprise. Yeah, I got that when I saw the aforementioned skid marks.
I did finally get backed out of this mess, but enough time had passed that I was unable to visit the shop. I still have a hard time believing this overpass is nothing more than entertainment for the locals, and since I have never run into an overpass this low before, I have to wonder if somewhere on YouTube there's a video of the entire adventure.