11 March 2007 The Last Exit
Sunday, Merz Internat, Stuttgart
There is that final moment when you can make a decision, and then it rolls past. Along with your exit off of the Autobahn, the last opportunity to chose another route, to not sit in a Stau.
The radio message system had reported about a 10 km Stau between Pforzheim-something and the following exit due to an accident in the construction zone. I guess that we kept expecting to see a slow down or stop in the stream of red tail lights snaking away over the hills in the distance. I had even gone ahead and programed the GPS to look for alternate routes, not that there is much of an alternative other than B10.
It was dark by now, well after 2030 and a varying two of the three teens were sleeping in the back seat. Normally they take the train back to school on Sunday night, but this time they were getting a ride for several reasons. The main being that Noah had his backpack, suitcase, guitar and amp; a bit more than is reasonable to schlep from train to Straßenbahn to school. There was also the fact that Nina had not had a chance to do her math tutoring untill late this afternoon.
So there we are, just passing Pforzheim-Öst. The insane babbler on the GPS tells us that the next exit is 13 km. We head down another hill and around a curve. On the A8 of course.
And there it is in all its glory–brake lights as far as the eye can see. Or at least 3 km, which ever is worse. Luckily the accident must have been long since cleared away, for suddenly the slowdown just opened up and everyone resumed a normal speed. Of 60-80 km/hr that is because we were not finished with the construction zone which only cleared right before the outskirts of Stuttgart.
After dropping them off and hitting the road, we took my normal route back: A81 -> A6. There is construction this way as well and, since it was past 2100, the trucks were on the road again in full force and fleets.
All of that as a passenger and I accomplished absolutely no knitting. I had not brought the second sleeve off Miriam’s sweater to complete the last 10 cm because measuring is hard in the dark. Instead I had brought some sock yarn and needles. Right-pale pink yarn and bamboo needles. I could not see a thing! Complicated by a pattern that called for cabling in the second row.
I was reduced to discussing politics as I had also forgotten The Time Travelor’s Wife. George, I am sure, was much happier this way.