Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Monday, October 27: Travel Day To Queens, NY

Last night after taking my left contact out, my eye immediately turned red and became very sensitive. Any bright light would make it automatically squint shut and begin to water, and worst of all, just closing my eyes made my left eye hurt.
As you can imagine, it was not easy getting to sleep since I have not yet mastered sleeping with my eyes open like a snake.

I finally nodded off past 4 a.m., and I reluctantly rolled out of bed at 9. I went outside to roll up my cables and hoses, but since I could see that no one was really up yet, and Ryan and I were both still blocked in by another trailer, I went inside and went back to sleep.

Ryan woke me up about two hours later to let me know that he had moved his house up so I could get my truck hooked up to my trailer.
After some tricky maneuvering between tent cables, boxes of equipment, and other trucks, to get my vehicle back to my trailer, I was able to get my rig ready to go.

Around noon Ryan and I hit the road to Queens. We were a bit worried about midday traffic, but it wasn't bad at all.

About five miles into the drive we stopped to pay the toll to cross the Triborough Bridge. A few seconds after beginning to cross the bridge I got a call from Ryan saying that he thought I had a flat tire.
I pulled over to the side of the bridge to investigate, and although I didn't have a flat, one of my trailer tires had a terrifying, huge bulge in the rubber.
I'm very lucky it didn't explode and send my trailer swaying out of control....well, more out of control than my natural driving sends it, anyway.

Ryan and I got to work changing the tire, but we ran into an unseen obstacle. One of the nuts holding the tire on was stripped and rusted, and we were not able to get it off.
After fighting with it for awhile I was about to resign myself to reattaching the tire and driving really carefully to the next lot; luckily just at that moment two city mechanics showed up to help out.
They had the proper tools to get my bulgy, freak tire off in a matter of seconds, marveling at it all the while. Apparently they had never seen a tire react like that, and they kept commenting on how lucky I was that I caught the problem before it was much worse.
A big thanks to Ryan and Tatiana for being perceptive enough to spot it before it was too late, and to the two mechanics for saving me a hazardous trip.
After the two mechanics got my new tire on my trailer, Ryan and I hit the road once more.

Before leaving the lot, Ryan was told that he couldn't take the directions given to us on the route sheets.
Ryan's trailer was too tall, so he was given directions to follow the same route as the semis.

As we were following the signs for the truck route we were taken on a detour off the highway, and right ahead there was a low bridge.
Since I didn't think Ryan's trailer would make it under, I quickly put on my brakes and gave him a call so he could turn onto another street; I didn't want him to have to back up down a one way street in Queens.

Unfortunately this separated us, and I didn't have anywhere to pull over and wait until Ryan caught up to me.
(It turns out that Ryan was able to go under the low bridge, because that is how he was able to get back on the route. It would have been helpful for us to know exactly how tall his trailer is.)

I made it to the lot safely, but about two miles from the circus, Ryan's trailer was hit by a car. Ryan had to sort out insurance information with the other driver, and then they had to wait for a couple of hours for the police to arrive.
He finally got to the lot around 5 p.m.

Even though this jump was the shortest of the season (around 10 miles), it was the most stressful for both me and Ryan.
I'm just happy we finally made it.

In the evening I decided to go for a walk to explore our surroundings for the next five weeks.
We are right across from CitiField, and only one subway stop from Flushing, which came highly recommended to me as a place to get amazing food.

I walked over to Flushing and had dinner at a little sushi restaurant. One of the rolls I ordered was called the sushi sandwich. The rice was arranged as the bread, and the eel, spicy tuna, and avocado served as the meat of the sandwich. It was both delicious and aesthetically pleasing!

After dinner I took the subway to Long Island City to meet up with my friend, Lisa, for a drink. It's been a few weeks since I have seen her, because she has been flying all over the country for work.
Luckily I should be able to spend more time with her, and her boyfriend, Dan, while we're in Queens.

Tonight for the "Scare-athon" I finally watched a good horror movie! "V/H/S/2" is a great anthology of four short horror films, and I highly recommend it!


Carl Bly said...

Ryan, Check with the city road maintenance people. It is my understanding from a very experienced circus 24 hour route person that all the bridges in NY are listed 6 inches shorter than they are. This is to allow for snowfall on the road in the winter. Thus he has taken trucks carefully under bridges they were not suppose to go under in the city! I'm sure the traffic rushing around you while changing the tire was not fun!!! Carl

Steve Copeland said...


Very interesting! I'll have him check into that.

You are correct, changing the tire on the side of the bridge was no fun, especially how much you could feel the bridge moving as the trucks sped by.