Friday, December 01, 2006

White Knuckles

I'm back home in Dallas -- alive!

The huge winter storm hit Santa Fe with a vengeance, dropping six inches of snow, and the mercury down to 2 degrees. It's the coldest weather I've ever experienced. Even though it was numbingly cold, the roads were dry and clear so I headed off into the midday sun. By nightfall I was in the Texas Panhandle, and was hitting long patches of black ice on the road. I finally stopped in Childress about 7:00pm when I noticed that the WalMart parking lot was filled with 18 wheelers. If they weren't driving, I didn't need to be either. I found a room (not easy) and crawled under the covers fully dressed while I waited for the room to heat up.

This morning it was 11 degrees. I headed for coffee, and a chat with some truckers who weren't getting on the road yet, and advised me not to either. Of course I have vast driving experience (more than a trucker??) and thought the sun would quickly warm the ice and melt it away with no problem. I didn't realize how cold it was and how thick the sheet of ice. It was like driving on a washboard gravel road, very bumpy and slidey. The highway was closed in two places due to wrecks. I saw so many cars and trucks in the ditches and median. There were at least six rollovers - one I couldn't tell what kind of trailer it was, maybe an RV.

I drove like that -- white knuckled -- for 250 miles.

I was overjoyed to see a Denny's sign in Wichita Falls, and pulled in the frozen parking lot. Only two waitresses showed up at work, one called in from the ambulance after wrecking her car on the ice. I felt lucky to be able to eat that omelette (no pancakes).

The snowfall actually made it all the way to Dallas, as evidenced by my front flower beds. The roads finally cleared about an hour north of here, and I was SO HAPPY to pull into my driveway.

I had a painting project in mind to start in immediately, but I have something much more important to do: nest.

5 comments:

Emily said...

Poor dear! Yes, I hate ice/snow on the roads. I'm a hermit, so I just don't go out very much. I do worry about my loved ones, however. Of course, living in PA there are lots of salt trucks ready to go.

Glad you're back. Rest...you deserve it.

KJ said...

Geeze! I forgot you were DRIVING! Been in that kind of situation, no fun... glad to know you made it home ok.

Martha Marshall said...

Me too! Glad you're safely home!!

Annette said...

Robin, you are always open to new experiences! Kewl! Yep, get some rest. It took me a full day to get over my trip from Alabama and that was just wind and rain on a warm day!

peace directer Edward Church said...

well my wife like every women is a good driver when driving far distances in snow storms she is good driver but when ur trying to be places to know more about making money on art it takes guts as a women to do the things you do being a good driver and plus learning about how nature make art ... ur blog is interesting better then reading books heeheh take care here make sure you take survival gear next b4u go out there on the road.b4u go take what you have put in the car 4what happen to the Korean American and his family was not prepaired they had to burn tires and there clothes she has2children to keep warm and her husband went off died finding help 7days after help officals found him dead after walking searching for help 7miles up the road he had made a wrong turn what got him off the start after seeing his friend, it is good to take what a person needsto stay alive if something happensifyou don't no help or a cell phone