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on the road

August 25, 2009

On my way to work each day, I pass a baseball cap that has been sitting on the side of the road since springtime. It is going nowhere, and it kinda bugs me. Rain water won’t move it, wind won’t lift it, and it is too big to fall into the nearby grate. I’d love to throw it away myself, but there is no safe way to fetch it from its perch on a bridge, over a freeway, between a concrete guardrail and fast-moving cars.

How does stuff get on the side of the road anyway? A hat is somewhat understandable, but good grief, how does ONE SHOE get separated from its mate on an Interstate?

Have you ever lost anything on the road, or had any strange roadside sightings?

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. Tony permalink
    August 26, 2009 6:52 am

    Bungee cords aren’t strange, but there are a lot of them on the roads. I was listening to a radio program, and somehow this topic came up on the show. The host was surprised that a caller thought there are a lot of bungee cords on the side of roads–and in fact he disagreed with the caller. Calls came flooding in with people giving updates of how many bungee cords they counted in the past few minutes. The host was convinced, but somewhat sad he had missed this his whole life (up to that point at least).

    Within those few minutes, there were about 6 fender-benders in the metro area. MN DOT called the radio station and asked the host to ask his listeners to stop looking for bungee cords and watch their driving.

  2. August 26, 2009 7:45 am

    Driving through Utah on a college road trip, I had my buddy grab the wheel while I took a picture of the scene in front of us. I stuck my head out the window so the camera wouldn’t have bug goop in the picture. And of course, since I forgot to take my hat off, it forgot that it belonged on my head.

    The hat had cost me enough that I got off the next exit a few miles later and turned around to retrieve it. I found it pretty quickly, pulled off the road to get it, and we were on our way.

    Over 2 hours of driving (with a few highway changes) and one oil change later, we pulled off at the Great Salt Lake to take a salty dip. An older couple at the visitor’s center asked if I was the guy who had lost my hat a few hours back. Apparently they had been right behind us in their RV.

  3. August 26, 2009 8:07 am

    I lost my half-completed precepts Bible study on an on ramp to 94 once! I accidently left the notebook sitting on top of my car as I drove away from church. On the on ramp I heard a thump and then saw a flurry of white pages flying off my car.

    I was so disappointed that I exited at the next exit, made a loop and went back to the on ramp. I parked the car and proceeded to dodge traffic entering the highway to collect the pages. I found all but about 15 pages!

    This was exactly a week after another girl in our small group did the same exact thing, but on the highway.

  4. carpoolqueen permalink
    August 26, 2009 9:24 am

    There’s a grill that’s been abandoned at the end of our street. I drive by it every day on the way to carpool.

    I’m thinking of throwing a block party and just using it so no one will have to haul their equipment out to the culdesac.

  5. August 26, 2009 9:35 am

    I’ve wondered about the shoe mystery. Intriguing.
    We once found a very large box of styrofoam cups.
    Another time we found a baby walker
    Mike said he has lost lumber and pipe from his truck bed.
    Sometimes he has retrieved it and other times it was gone when he went back to look.
    I’m missing a shoe.

  6. Kristina Michael permalink
    August 26, 2009 9:21 pm

    When I was little I somehow I manage to let a yellow crocheted baby’s jacket fly out the window (how? I have no idea).

    I was very upset by this, but because we were on a long stretch of highway there wasn’t a good place to turn around, and who knew where it had flown to?

    I wanted ask Jesus if he would help us find it. My parents agreed, thinking that this was most likely a “fruitless” prayer that would not get answered. But, we prayed together anyway….

    We pulled off at a rest stop an hour or two later. And there, stuck on a hook on my dad’s sailboat (which we were pulling behind us), was my baby doll’s yellow jacket.

    God cares about the sparrow who falls out of the tree…and about lost baby’s jackets. It was a lesson in prayer I’ll never forget!!

  7. Kristina Michael permalink
    August 26, 2009 9:30 pm

    Oh yeah, and once I saw a Puritan at the bus stop on Franklin Avenue. Not kidding. Looked just like Jonathan Edwards, hat, white stockings, buckle shoes, the whole bit. Although the jury’s out on whether or not he was real…especially because no one else at the bus stop looked particularly disturbed or inquisitive about this person. I had just worked a night shift (a very long one!)…I suspect I may have been SLIGHTLY overtired…. : )

    • August 26, 2009 9:56 pm

      Along those lines, Kristi, I saw a strange sight after working all night at a group home in Woodbury a few years ago.

      Leaving the neighborhood at 7am on a grey and drizzly day, I followed a garbage truck for a few blocks. On the back, hanging from the “mouth” of the truck (or maybe the bumper) was a collection of nasty stuffed animals! They were matted, dirty, and wet, as if they’d been pulled from a trash heap after a good rain. Easter bunnies, teddy bears, Kermit… they were all there in a line, with their legs danging into the nastiness. Gag!

      It was so disturbing! I’m pretty sure it was real, but you have to wonder.

    • August 26, 2009 9:58 pm

      Oh, and another time when I was driving home at 6 or 7, I saw a unicyclist riding on a pedestrian bridge above me. That’s a feasible story, but at the time I wondered if I was hallucinating.

  8. September 3, 2009 11:48 am

    I’m late to the game.

    Growing up in Los Angeles, I think I’ve seen everything there is to see by the side of a freeway. The weirdest (to me) repeat – beach chairs, unfolded, ready to sit in. How does that happen?

    Once we hit a large laminate dining table that had fallen off of the truck in front of us in the fast lane. That was exciting.

    Once my boogie board was not properly secured in the bed of my pickup and sailed out the back on a busy freeway – fortunately the leash got hooked on the gate, so it just dragged / sailed behind me until I could get off and retrieve it.

    My hubby was helping friends move, driving down the middle lane of 5 when their beanbag chair flew out the back of the truck. Since it was not that busy on the freeway (and I was not in the car to begin screaming in protest), he stopped, got out and ran back to get it and put it back in the truck.

  9. September 4, 2009 8:10 pm

    A little burro pinata. It looked very sad and lonely.

    Regarding the solo shoe comment. I heard a story a little while back about this guy who, when traveling through US airports, used to bring along an extra shoe (like 1/2 an old pair that he was going to throw out anyway). For entertainment, as he was passing through security, he would send the shoe through the X-ray machine with his stuff. He wouldn’t claim the shoe and, rather, would just sit down and watch the entertainment of employees trying to track down the owner of the lone shoe. Obiously a waste of resources, but amusing nonetheless.

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