On our way back from NWPA this past weekend, we got caught in a dragnet on I86, above Hornell. NYS police were diverting traffic in an effort to capture the escaped convicts that have eluded capture for more than a week. We were sitting in traffic some time, slowly crawling along, wishing we had avoided the major highways and byways that lead into NY, when we saw a deer leaping and running full-bore alongside the fenced section of the highway. That, and a caravan of speeding cruisers, were the coolest part of our dragnet experience.
Trying to see the positive side of being caught up in a dragnet, I came up with these suggestions for…
What we might have done while waiting in a dragnet:
1. Played a slow game of “I Spy” with others in the car in line.
2. Searched out an alternate route with our GPS, and done a U-turn off the highway. Not all that helpful, since there was another dragnet on the west bound lane at the same time we were headed east. Still, I bet things would have gotten “interesting” quickly, had we done this. A a daring escape from the wait line would have been exciting, no doubt, but probably also bullet filled.
3. Read a good book.
4. Made up stories about the people in the vehicles ahead and behind us. There were legion.
What we actually did:
1. Shared scenarios about what might be going on at the other end of a line of cars and trucks waiting on the interstate. Seriously, we were backed up at least four miles, so we could not see what was going on ahead or behind us.
2. Crooned along with the greats: Taylor, singing Blank Space, and Ed Sheeran with his, Thinking Out Loud. Geniuses! They really know how to rock it, good!
3. Ate sweet cherries we bought when we made a pit stop before heading onto I86. Man, were they yummy!
4. Watched as the patty wagon and five NYSP cruisers whizzed by, wondering if they had, in fact, caught the escaped convicts in their dragnet.
What I wish we could have done:
1. Called ahead on our cell phones to tell the NYSP that we had no convicts in our car and could be diverted to the “pass-freely-by” lane afforded to those who have video on their phones and are able to do a sweep of the car, inside and out, and forward that clip to police. I’m sure this technology will soon be available to honest, forthright, non-convict citizens of the USA.
2. Purchased soft ice cream from a Mr. Softy trucks running alongside the median next to the dragnet line. I’m sure it would have calmed jangled nerves to have a big ole chocolate and vanilla twist with sprinkles to enjoy while we were waiting in the hot sun. Maybe a hot dog, too, or a shake. You know, typical dragnet fare–nothing fancy.
3. Gone back in time, where we could have picked a different path and traveled by another route.
I know finding escaped convicts is important, but on Father’s Day? No fun!
I believe someone went to jail on Sunday as a result of the dragnet cops put out near Bellmont, NY, but our car was too far back in the line to see anything go down. The patty wagon was gone when we got to the front of the line, so we are guessing that someone with open warrants got caught up in the checkpoint and was summarily hauled off to jail. They didn’t catch the escaped convicts that day, but they will. There are only so many hidey-holes available in the NE, and I’m betting there will be more dragnets if they are not caught soon.
Unfortunate was the experience of one young lady whose vehicle overheated while waiting her turn to go through the checkpoint. She was so near the end of the line. Tough luck for her. We imagined her car had overheated, but she could have simply ran outta gas, which brings me to ponder: If one runs out of gas at a police checkpoint, who pays for the tow to the nearest gas station?
Have you ever been caught up in a dragnet situation? What did you do to pass the time while you waited for what seemed like forever to get on your way?