Continued from last Monday, June 25th…
The five of us drove the two lane highway at a speed that changed along with the conversation. If the discussion was calm and laid back, Joe meandered at a dangerously slow pace, causing a line-up of antsy drivers behind us. If we got into a debate, especially political, or if laughter broke out, Joe’s foot pressed on the gas pedal with an urgency that made me want to leap for the brake. Greg asked him if he wanted a break from driving, a nice way of putting it, but he just brushed the comment aside and asked Marg to make him another drink. She always seemed to have one ready for him anyway.
Frank didn’t seem bothered by our situation. I figured he was half baked himself so had no idea what was going on. Greg was edgy as hell, which made me more and more nervous as time went on. I took him aside and we privately discussed how we might get out of this potentially fatal ride we were on.
All of a sudden the Winnebago swerved right as Joe braked hard around a tight curve he was taking too fast. I was sitting on the right side of the vehicle and when I looked out the window, all I could see was water. The Winnebago seemed to be balanced only on the right two tires. It was all happening very fast and I thought for sure that was it, we were going to tip over into the lake below. My short young life flashed before me. Then miraculously the Winnebago steadied and righted itself as we landed with a thump back on the road and all fours. Joe laughed as if he was on the roller coaster at the country fair.
Just when we were firmly on the road again I felt us skidding along the dirt shoulder as cars flew past honking their horns. Margery landed on Franks lap, her vodka tonic splashing all over. She seemed quite amused with the whole adventure, as did our traveling companion, Frank. They laughed and clinked their plastic glasses together in toast. Greg had landed on the floor and was not so happy. Before any of us could comprehend what was going on the vehicle lurched to a stop and the doors hissed open.
“Where ya headed soldier?” Some garbled voices could be heard from outside then four more hitch hikers climbed aboard. I reached for my backpack. Greg stood up, grabbed his bag and we shouldered our way through the group of smelly travelers to the front of the rig. “Not thinking of leaving us already are ya kids? Anyway, we’re in the middle of bum-fuck nowhere. Nothin’ out there but a long, silent road.” Joe put the pedal to the metal and off we drove, leaving a trail of dust behind us. He didn’t know that a long, silent stretch of road in the middle of bum-fuck nowhere was exactly what we wanted.
To be continued…