I learned today about the picnic grounds at the Lima, Ohio, rest area on U.S. 30. learned by having a picnic there.
Diane and I woke up this morning at the Pilot truck stop in Youngstown. We picked up freight late yesterday afternoon in Intestine, Penn. That’s not the town’s real name but it should be given how the narrow roads twist and turn through that mountainous region. This was one of the most challenging drives we have had in a long time.
As is our custom, we had map traced the route before we left for the pick up. So far, so good. But when we came off the turnpike and started working our way into town, truck restriction signs met us everywhere we went. Not good. Stress was building as the clock ticked. This was a late afternoon dispatch on which we immediately rolled. We worried that we might not get to the pick up before the shipper closed.
Unable to make any progress by following a map, I called the shipper. Diane got busy on the computer and found directions that the shipper had posted online providing the truck route to the plant. At that moment we were just three miles away but the only legal truck route to the shipper was 14 miles long. And it was some of the narrowest, squiggliest, hilliest and slowest driving we have ever done.
The good news was the shipper put us at ease. He was as laid back as they come. He knew well the challenges truck drivers have in this town. Much to my relief, he told us to take our time and be safe. He wasn’t going anywhere and would be there whenever we arrived. We learned when we met him that he was being paid overtime to stay at the plant and get this shipment out.
With the freight on board we headed out of town toward our Monday morning delivery in a midwestern city. We worked our way back out of the hills and back onto the freeway system. A few hours later the hills gave way to flatter ground. It felt great to be driving on the open road again.