Last Sunday Bill and I decided to go to Albuquerque to say hello to our granddaughter Caitlin and her friend Jessa, who had driven from Northern Arizona University—Go Lumberjacks—to see the International Balloon Fiesta. It was about 11 a.m. when we got to Walgreens in Edgewood, where we turned onto Old 66 heading west. We noticed semis coming behind us, and when we topped the rise to start down and up to Sedillo Hill, we knew why.
There was a wreck with a huge truck sideways and a large crane had been brought in to help. First responders, State Police, an ambulance and Edgewood Police officers were all there. Both lanes of Interstate 40 east and west were closed, thus the semis behind us. Only Route 66 was moving, and the traffic was stacked and stopped from Edgewood all the way back to the North 14 exit in the canyon.
The Knights of the Road who deliver everything to us were locked up tight. When they made the movie, “Smoky and the Bandit” in May 1977, they would talk on CBs. I know we all have phones, but when you see a situation like this… We came home at 3 p.m., and had been in Albuquerque four hours. There was one lane open east and the west of I-40 still had a lot of traffic. Lucky for us we remembered to come back on Old 66. “What do you suppose they did?” I asked Bill. With modern technology you would assume cell phones would rule. Naaah. Most truckers still use and have a CB in their cabs, he says. Truckers use CB Radios Channel 19.
“Well, they can’t read and drive, so is it radio only?”
“If there are two drivers, I know something they could do.”
Then Bill told me a story of the New Mexico Air National Guard, when they were stationed in Aviano, Italy. After their assignment, they had to fly the planes home accompanied by a tanker that would refuel the F-16s in midair. A tanker with lots of gas came from England to meet up with the New Mexico birds, a four-ship flight of F-16s over Cape Trafalgar, in Spain.
Bill thought it was funny because Admiral Lord Nelson met and defeated the French at Trafalgar in 1805. The tanker was a K.C. 135 and the aircraft commander of the tanker was a Royal Air Force exchange officer. He had a Jeopardy! game with him and kept it going among our pilots all the way across the pond. The Brit pilot did a fine imitation of Alex Trebek, and I do believe there were only winners. Bill said of all the times he flew the Atlantic, that was the shortest and most fun.
It gave me an idea for the situation in the canyon. Each week it happens, and we are all stuck. How about games of Trivial Pursuit, electing a Game Master for each part of the trip? I have Genus 5 set and do pretty well with Literature or Arts; it’s Science I can’t manage. Or, to fix that, you could read the cards a little ahead of time just to get used to the language. You know, the language that says, “I win.” When Bill and I drove up 20 years ago to visit our son, daughter-in-law and new grandbaby, Caitlin, we brought them a Christmas edition. They were really surprised at how much we knew. (You can read them in the car. Shhhh…)
It takes five hours to go from Northern Arizona University to here. Caitlin and Jessa could learn a lot in their quests to be engineers by reading trivia. It helped me be a decent English teacher. Roaring Mouse says: “Breaker, Breaker, Rubber Duckies, come on, your 20 is Edgewood. We’ve got your 6, and some of the best Mexican food in New Mexico. 10-4, good Buddy! Over and out!”