I was sorry I had to leave Phil’s house after only an hour, but I had to go if I was going to catch the earlier ferry – the ferry after the 2:45 was 4:30 or so. I was back on the road and moving along quickly. The GPS said that I would arrive at the CMLF by 2:14 pm – AWESOME. Right on schedule. halfway to Maryland I think, I realized I needed gas AGAIN. This damn UHAUL completely sucked – figuratively time and cash-wise as well as literally gas-wise.
Between that stop and a few slow drivers through Maryland, my arrival time was bleeding later towards 2:30. JEEZ folks drive slow here – and there were dozens of traffic lights. I was speaking to a friend on the phone to keep calm, and he suggested that I call the CMLF to reserve a spot on the ferry. I did, and the gentleman who took my reservation said that 2:30 should be fine.
Then I got to the smallest, one-light town I’ve ever seen. It had one two-lane road going through it, the speed limit was 15 mph and I was tempted to ignore that by speeding through this sleepy old town when the thought of spending the night in an East Bumblefuk jail slowed me down.
“I’ll get there,” I thought, and I meandered through the winding streets.
What town was this?? The buildings looked old as dirt, the post office was falling apart and I was driving so slow I could see the peeling paint falling from the building – and then it happened.
As I was approaching an intersection and I saw a Honda CRV stopped there. I was already risking it by driving 20 mph in a 15 zone, but I knew what was coming next and I sped up a bit. I was too late. The car pulled out in front of me which forced me to nearly a complete stop. To make matters worse, the person proceeded to drive 10 mph through the rest of this sleepy town. The speed limit was 15, “is this really happening?” I asked myself.
I glanced at the ETA on the GPS – 2:27 – CRAP.
“We’ll get on the highway and they’ll speed up,” I hoped, “PLEASE, speed up…”
We got to the highway after we moseyed through town, and they never did over 45 in a 55 mph zone.
“OK, no problem,” I tried to self assure myself, “they’ll turn off soon,” and when she didn’t I said, “No problem, the lanes will double up and I will pass them then,” and 10 miles later the GPS ETA read 2:38, I started looking for a place to haul ass by her with my tank pulling a howitzer.
No dice – every time I thought I could, a car came the other way or the passing lane just wasn’t long enough for my taste. I started to plan for the possibility that I wasn’t going to make the 2:45 ferry, and called my Dad. Then the car pulled to the side of the road to turn and I saw the woman driving – she looked like she was 100 years old. I felt bad for all of the evil thoughts I had about her for the last half hour as I was trapped behind her – but then I had to get down to business. I still had a chance, right?
In the back of my mind, I kept thinking that things have gone right till now – I am gonna make this ferry.
But then it was 2:15 real time and the ETA was 2:45, “So close,” I was thinking, “Maybe the ferry will leave late.”
No way – and I surrendered. I told Dad that I wouldn’t be to his house until two hours later, “I could have driven around to I-95,” I thought, but then I thought how cool it was gonna be to go on the Ferry. I thought about the Mustang on the boat and smiled.
I continued to talk to my Dad and was about to tell him how I got emotional with Phil, and I saw a big sign for the ferry. It was 2:27 and the ETA was 2:45, but the entrance to the ferry was staring at me.
“It’s meant to be!” I thought – “Again, it’s all working out!”
“Pop – I gotta go, I will talk to you in a bit,” I said quickly as I approached the ferry, “I can’t believe I am going to make it!!”
I hung up with my Dad and drove up to an empty toll booth. The woman there greeted me with a smile.
“Did I make it?” I asked.
“You made it,” she grinned.
Her name was Norma. I gave her my card and started explaining that I didn’t think I had a chance to make it on time. I told her I had a reservation and that I was pulling my Uncle’s Mustang. She asked me about it and when I explained what I was doing, she said, “My husband would love that story.”
“Visit myunclesmustang.com,” I said.
“Wait, what was that?” she asked.
“I am documenting the whole journey and restoration on a blog – www.myunclesmustang.com.”
“Let me write this down,” she fumbled for some paper and a pen, “my husband loves this kind of thing.”
We completed the transaction, “Thanks,” I said, “Nice talking with you!”
“And you too, sir,” she grinned, “Lane 9 please.”
I caught the ferry. I still can’t believe it. Was I catching destiny? I’m not gonna go that far, yet, but one thing I know – everything fell right into place, again.
To be continued…