I was driving home from work one day a few weeks back and I usually decide between taking the back roads or the highway. I take 3 different interstates to get home; 422 to 271 to 8. On average, 422 never has traffic no matter what time of day I drive it. 8 usually has no traffic as well. Sandwiched in between the 2 is 271 that almost always has traffic in the morning and at 5pm. The only time I can expect no traffic is around holidays or if kids are out of school. All of sudden the highways are free, open roads and I can drive like a normal human (maybe speed a little, ssshh).
This particular day, I took a chance to drive the highway. Usually I like to check google maps to see if there are a bunch of red lines but I figured I’d left early enough that I’ll probably bypass it. It was a warm day, for Ohio anyway, and I had my sunroof shade open and I think I was listening to whatever was on the radio that day. I come upon the exit to 271 and instant stop. Traffic was at a standstill. So I did a little bit of maneuverability to shimmy up to the closest exit. I always keep other routes in the back of my head in case I’m trying to be somewhere fast. I’m okay with sacrificing open highway for traffic lights as long as I’m moving. Sitting in a hot car in the summer, in traffic, is the worst.
I get off the highway and onto this side road that turns into 8 eventually. This road starts as a bunch of schools, then groceries and once you cross the bridge it turns into an industrial parkway. There’s a place on the left that just has giant piles of pulverized concrete or sand with this tiny little gas station and then you have a bunch of different warehouses up an down both sides before it turns into the casino way.
I get to the point where the old Arhaus warehouse used to be and there’s stand still traffic again. At first I didn’t think anything of it. There is a stoplight ahead so I figure traffic will start moving soon as it turns green. Well the light turns green and the cars in my lane are still sitting. Then I notice cars on the other side are stopping as well. Automatic thought is car accident right? Which means I’ll be stuck a little longer. Well, the cars across the divide start moving and the cars to my right start moving as well but my lane isn’t moving at all. I begin to feel the symptoms of annoyance come forward because I just want to go home after my long day at work.
An opening appears for me to move around the line of cars that are stopped and get into the moving right lane. I take the chance and slowly crawl forward. I’m ready to continue my drive but I’m also curious to see what caused the backup. I get close to SUV that’s essentially parked and saw the most unexpected thing…
A skunk!! A very big skunk!! If I could have snapped a picture with my eyes, I would have! The skunk is basically pacing in circles. It was so unbelievable, I burst out laughing. My annoyance instantly evaporated. I quickly glanced around my surroundings wondering where the hell this huge skunk came from. This is basically an industrial wasteland. No forest or any sign of nature in the immediate distance yet here is this poor skunk. You can tell people, including myself, wanted to help somehow but at the same time not. That’s just one smell you do not want to take to work the next day. I continued my drive home thinking to myself that I hope the little (big) guy finds his way home. I also thanked Mr. Big Skunk for putting a smile on my face.