As I mentioned in an earlier post, they built a new JCPenney in New Braunfels...it just opened yesterday. I got a coupon in the mail for $10 off a purchase of $10 or more. You can't beat that with a stick, so I'm getting ready to walk out the door just as my son comes by to do his laundry. He says, "Have you been out yet? The traffic is CRAZY today!"
Well, you can't put a little 'Sunday-driver' traffic between a woman and a ten dollar coupon, so off I went anyway. I live about a mile away from I-35 and when I got there, I saw that the northbound lane was at a standstill. So, either there was a whole shitload of Sunday drivers out today, or there must have been an accident. I stayed on the frontage road...Penney's is only about six miles from my house, so that was no big deal. Or so I thought. Now the traffic on the frontage road is at a standstill. So I cross under the overpass to the other side of the interstate, thinking I could go around the other way to Penney's. I get to I-35 again just about where the shopping center is and more standstill traffic. I turn around and think if I can go further north on one of the small rural highways, I can get just north of it and past the accident, then come back south. I think all of New Braunfels was thinking the same thing. (Maybe everyone had ten dollar coupons at Penney's.) So now I'm about 15 miles northwest of New Braunfels in stop-and-go traffic on this little 2-lane road. I called Jared and said, "Go check on the internet to see what's going on on I-35." He said, "I don't have to...my boss from JCPenney called and said I don't have to go to work today. There was a big chemical spill on the highway right where the shopping center is so all the stores are closed and the highway is shut down." Damn. And here I am stuck in the middle of nowhere thinking I wouldn't get home until about 10:00...with NO purchase from JCPenney.
So I continue going north until I reach the huge outlet mall just south of San Marcos. Northbound I-35 is open now, but the Southbound lane is at the familiar standstill. I decided to kill some time at this place from an earlier post...
...where I got a BLT and sat down to watch the traffic NOT go by. Too bad I didn't have my camera with me.
Traffic was still not moving much by the time I finished my BLT, so I decided to try another rural highway heading east...then south. This actually worked, and by the time I got back into New Braunfels, they had just re-opened I-35...but it was still very congested.
This little trip would have normally covered about 12 miles and taken 45 minutes...tops. Today it covered 45 miles and took me almost four hours. I probably used about $6.00 worth of gas and spent $8.00 on lunch. And no goods from JCPenney.
Damn good thing that coupon is valid through tomorrow.