Thursday, December 6, 2007

Dick's Chute -- An appreciation

There hasn't been this much concrete poured since Hoover Dam was built. All through downtown Jackson, concrete medians are going up -- and through the Waterworks Curve, they are going up on both sides of the road. It's making a really cool thrill ride. Sure, the walls terrify Mrs. R and most other drivers who don't drive through there often, but man, I love them! So much so that I hate that Evel Knievel took the dirt nap before he had a crack at them. He would have gotten all tingly riding his bike through Jackson.

But the most exciting area to drive is going from Woodrow Wilson (I bet 90% of kids don't know who he was) from UMC onto I-55 north. I have affectionately named that area after Dick Hall -- Dick's Chute. Dick's Chute replaced Dick's Sticks -- the contraptions that kept you from Blue Angeling over to Lakeland Drive (across four lanes of traffic). Now, you hit Dick's Chute while driving around 60 mph. Then you curve left and you end up into this concrete chute that spits you out into the left lane. The best way I can describe it is like this -- Remember when the Millenium Falcon shot out the second Death Star? You are like Lando shouting "YAH HOO!" by the time you hit the interstate. And you expect flames from an exploding Hyundai behind you (the older lady hit the wall) to lick at your rear bumper. AWESOME!

And if you want a real thrill, come back and do it at night. Double AWESOME!

13 comments:

regina Butler said...

Dude, I'll bet you had a dirt bike as a kid didn't you.

Marshall Ramsey said...

For a while. I was lucky to survive -- thankfully it cut out a lot.

Ironghost said...

"Dirt Nap"?

I'll bet Evil Keneviel isn't happy about his current state.

As for the chute, it surely beats watching old ladies and kids who should know better stop in the middle of I-55 in heavy traffic, waiting for someone to let them over to Lakeland Drive.

I'll take the current setup anyday.

Marshall Ramsey said...

Not complaining about it. I love it -- and it should have been done years ago for reasons you mentioned. Although I did see some Mensa zip from the end of the chute over to Lakeland West exit. They may have to extend it to Northside Drive.

As for Evel, don't know what he is thinking, the Ouija board is at home. But you're probably right. The crazy guy seemed to really love life.

mrs.h said...

I learned how to drive in Jackson in 1976. At that time we loved to drive around the curve at the water works, because you literally got airborne. In a 1968 Impala with 8 cylinders (heavy as a tank), it was a blast. If I ever catch MY kids doing something like that, I'll take the car away.

From the Doghouse said...

Kind of like the old Hot Wheels race starter, except life-size.

Watercolor said...

The chute isn't long enough. Idiots can still stop on I-55 and try to get to Lakeland. arg.

GeofChaucer said...

The class I'm covering knew who WW was! Why I'm covering it, I don't know. Yeah, I do. Yet another "not-exactly-in-your-job-description-but-do-it-anyway" thing.

Now, to get ready for next class.

They're analyzing the seasonal symbolism in ABBA's "Hamlet."

Marshall Ramsey said...

Watercolor, I haven't seen anyone do that -- just imagining it scares the hell out of me.

Watercolor said...

I've seen one school bus and three cars do it since the concrete barricade was put in. If I hadn't been trying to to kill or be killed while the bus was doing it, I would have tried to notice the bus number to report it.

Watercolor said...

NOT to kill or be killed.... that should read
oy.

Marshall Ramsey said...

A school bus?!? Nice. Bet that driver also straddles railroad tracks, too.

Forcedtoretirelegaleagle said...

Hey, watch that old ladies talk!!! I was here when that interstate was built and I can drive on it as well as anyone!

My best school bus adventures were when our bus was driving on Belvedere/Ellis Avenue and we crossed Highway 80. The kids on the back seat would fly into the air!