Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Taste of Adventure

I'll be the first to admit that I like a a little adventure. Especially if it happens to someone else.
What I do not like is adventure on my morning commute when it might make me late for class.
*               *               *
I finally got to sleep for my 30-40 minute morning nap when I wake up to a slight smell of diesel. I know this smell well*. I go back to sleep thinking, "All these wimps in their heavy coats. I'm in a long sleeve shirt and I'm hot."
Next time I wake up, the air is stifling with fumes, the bus is stopped on the side of the road, and a voice from the rear proclaims "I see smoke!"
I'm not going to discount that, but I know from the Moorpark trip that a cloud of spraying diesel mixed with seam in cold air can look like that. Not that I'm not willing--and ready--to vacate this death trap. Or, in the bus driver's words: "If you might like to join me on that service road across the shoulder? (We are on Interstate 5, so it was a BIG shoulder).
As I stand on the service road some 60 feet away, noting the fuel puddling on the ground, I start to consider the possible blast radius. When firing a canon (3-inch ordinance rifle), we use 6-9 oz. Cannon Grade GOEX black powder, to which the safety zone is 60ft.  How much fuel is the bus carrying? What is the blast radius of a 47 passenger bus carrying 3/4 a tank of fuel? How much fuel was that? How many of the cars passing by would it take out when it blew?
These were questions I wanted answers to, though not necessarily questions that would help me in any way considering there wasn't much I could do except walk down the side of the shoulder.
Somehow I suspect that an exploding bus might cover more than 60 feet.
The next bus that morning comes by, and the more anxious (and hotfooted) of our bunch hops on.
Lady behind me after looking in: "I looks really full...I'll wait for the next bus..."
I thread my way to the back, and we leave with 3 seats open on a 57 passenger bus. After we drive off, there are more than 20 people dotting the highway shoulder who decided to wait. The next bus is only a 45 passenger and is usually 3/4 full. Even if they can get most of the people on, I'll be a few will have to stand. How many?
Probably 3.
As we're seated, I turn to the woman across the aisle. "That was different."
Her: "Yes, yes it was."
When it comes to adventure for myself, I'll stick with just a taste.
*Those who know me in my Civil War reenactment capacity will recall the epic journey back from Moorpark with 7 horses and leaking fuel injectors. Ah...for the old days!


Carolyn said...

I'm sure that took you back to the Moorpark excitement. Though you couldn't expect another vehicle to come along and rescue you.

lifeshighway said...

I'm sorry I lost the story after the part about you firing a cannon. Now THAT is a hobby worth pursuing.

Wendi said...

And I'm guessing there was nobody in the near vicinity who looked like Keanu, either.

lifeshighway said...

Wait a minute, Wendi

Do you live in a area where men walk around looking alike Keanu because if you do, I need to move.