And let me tell you, it freaks you the fuck out.
Background: I'm yankin' my tank(quit), headed down to Nicholasville Ky to deliver a load of distillers, round about 3:30am. This puts me at about 20 1/2 hours awake and driving, having just come in from the Toronto Ontario area, stopped at the yard to swap trailers, and be in Ky by 7a to unload.
I'm runnin' down I-75, about the 151 (south of Walton, made it past the super coop - um, that would be the DOT scales.) I have to go to the 115, the rest area is at the 126. I'm 22 miles from a 2 hour nap. A few winding curves and some peaks and valleys through here (it's gorgeous in the daytime.)
I'm running with a couple drivers from another company in Canada headed to GA, and a local gal who runs from Cincy to Louisville every night. I'm in the lead, 'coz I have the dog, and driving faster helps keep me awake. 55 knocks my ass right out. They're chatterin'; I'm tryin' to keep my eyes open, doin' the head bobbin' thing, trying to stay alert enough to answer them when they say something to me.
Next thing I know, I see this 20 foot tall spider walk out on the road and stand in front of my truck. I lock it down, ass end up, tires smokin' and I'm seriously thinking "I'm gonna die." My heart's pounding, I get that adrenaline-rushed nausea kick and I'm bracing myself for impact.
I grab the mike, 'coz everyone behind me is hollerin' at me wantin' to know WTF happened.
"Dude! Did you see that??!!"
"What the hell is goin' on up there?"
"You're not gonna believe what I just saw!"
"A 20-foot spider walked right out in front of me!"
"Are you smokin' crack?"
"No, haven't done that in years... serious man, there was a huge spider on the road."
"Miss Behavin', are you alright?"
"No man, it freaked me out! I need some sleep... bad."
"Yep, I'd say it's time. You gonna make it to the rest area?"
"Talk me down there; I gotta get off the road. Someone's gonna get hurt."
So 20 miles later, barely able to turn the wheel to get into the parking spot, I'm in the rest area 15 miles from my drop. I nap in the seat for about 2.5 hours (if I lay down, I'm not gettin' up til I sleep at least 5 hours - I KNOW better.) I drag my ass out, use the bathroom, splash my face and head to my unload.
2 hours later, unloaded, headed back north to the yard. I sleep drive 20 miles through Dayton and wake up enough to stop wandering over the zipper. Now I'm 30 hours with 2.5 hours "nap," 6 miles from my exit, and damn if I don't see a giant frickin' snake wander out on the road. More traffic this time, and broad daylight. Scared the livin' hell right outta me.
I like bein' home, but enough was enough. I know I hallucinate when I'm exhausted; I've caught myself on that edge sayin' silly shit to people that didn't make a bit of sense to anyone but me.
So I did the big girl thing... Instead of makin' the left and drivin' 36 miles to the yard, I turned right and drove 1/2 mile to the truck stop, parked it and slept for four hours. I felt like a bucket of fuck, but the highway was a safer place for awhile.