The plan was to drive up to Tupelo and then cut over to Oxford, and cross the Mississippi at West Helena, thus avoiding Memphis and the traffic. I had driven this route back from Arkansas in April after participating in the MS Walk, and it seemed doable and much less traffic for someone with my limited experience of driving a big truck and pulling a vehicle. I had not considered that we might be driving that road at night, in the dark, and just so you know, the high beams didn't help much, very little difference really. Well, so you know. In fairness, we didn't know that Prince Charles and Prince Harry were actually in Memphis that weekend at some event, so the traffic in Memphis might have been even more challenging than my imagination had dreamed up, but anyway, I digress.
It began to get dark as we headed across the bottoms of Mississippi toward the river. The road was narrower and there were no shoulders, at least nothing wide enough to park a truck on. As we drove, it seemed like forever across those roads. I was driving the lead and knew the route; when the phone rang with Bruce asking how far we were from an interstate and if this was going to last much longer, and that the dog was whimpering to take a break. There was just no good answer. We were still a fair piece from a place to pull over, and it was pitch black outside with no street lights, faded paint lines on the road, the road seemed much bumpier in the truck, and very few other vehicles. Crossing railroad tracks out in the middle of nowhere is never a good sign and we weren't lost but we might as well have been because it was dark and we were tired.
Eventually we neared a casino and a gas station with a driveway big enough for a couple of big trucks and we pulled off to walk the dog. I felt tired about then but it was good to walk the dog and just stretch a minute even though I knew it would be a while longer before we made our way across Arkansas and back to the interstate 40 at Brinkley I think it was. The road was better on the Arkansas side but still, it was a relief when we pulled back on to the interstate. Traffic didn't seem so bad after all the isolation in the dark. Strange how that is. It seems I came away from that stretch with a better understanding of that whole pray without ceasing passage, the practice of which had eluded me over the years, but understand better after my dark night of driving. There was no light of the moon that night, only the invisible hand of God clearing our way, for I prayed for that because much of the time, I could not see the way.