Posted: July 15, 2007 in Family and Friends

Several years ago now, Gene Logan began organizing an annual trip for the guys from our church family to watch a major league baseball game. It has been one of my personal favorite things to do ever since.

Our normal trip is to Atlanta, but we have made a couple of trips to Houston as well. This year was Atlanta, however, and last night 19 of us witnessed a good old-fashioned whipping, as the Brian McCann and Tim Hudson led Braves defeated the Pirates 9-1.

The trip was significantly more adventurous than we anticipated. We took three vehicles, and the one with Pat, Richard, Cameron, Richie, and Matthew was well down the road in front of the other two not long after we left our Cracker Barrell breakfast in Mobile, Alabama (some of us were a little slower than the rest after breakfast!). Not long after we left Mobile, our church van began to shake significantly, and pretty much at the top of the HUGE bridge over the Mobile River the front left tire blew.

This was not good.

The nine of us found ourselves perched VERY HIGH on the bridge, on its very narrow shoulder, with the need to change a front left tire in the oncoming traffic.

I learned a few things:

  • There are an awful lot of eighteen-wheelers that travel the bridge that goes over the Mobile River.
  • All of these trucks travel at high rates of speed.
  • When two eighteen-wheel trucks are driving side by side, the one in the right-hand lane cannot switch lanes.
  • When these trucks pass a van perched high on the bridge above the Mobile River, the van shakes a LOT.
  • The bridge over the Mobile River is VERY HIGH, and the guard rail is NOT very high.

I learned even more things:

  • No state troopers travel over the bridge over the Mobile River at all it seems.
  • Gene Logan has no fear (addendum to this fact: Gene Logan does not look to see if eighteen wheelers are coming while he waltzes around a bridge VERY HIGH above the Mobile River while changing a flat tire.).
  • Tom O’Connell, who turned his truck around to come back to help us, is my personal hero.

You see, you can learn an awful lot on a trip to the baseball game.

But we made it, even with the visit to the Wal-Mart automotive department in Bay Minette, Alabama, to purchase four new tires for the van. Instead of arriving at our hotel and checking in, then arriving at Turner Field our customary two hours before gametime, we made it to the park around 45 minutes before gametime.

Still, we made it in plenty of time to have a great time with friends, see an entertaining game, watch the Friday night fireworks show, and pay over five dollars for a jumbo hot dog.

As the credit card commercial says… priceless.

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