Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holy Scary Snowstorm! (Part I)

Last week I drove through a massive snowstorm unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I'm not crazy. It's not like I wanted to go out in that mess. You only drive in conditions like that for a person you love a whole lot. I mean really, really love, because that wasn’t snow, it was a complete white out and the scariest, most unreal driving conditions I’ve ever experienced.

I had to get to the airport to pick up my husband. A lot of people left their loved ones stuck at the airport that day, and once I got going, I figured out why. Scariest. Freaking. Storm. EVER.

Picture this: Wind blowing at a ridiculously high speed, with air so cold it freezes any and all moisture on contact so that as you drive, your windshield freezes—even though the wipers AND defrosters are on full blast.

As that’s happening, you drive into this enormous cloud of white (but not the dreamy kind, the scary kind), and even though you slow down, there’s no avoiding this thing, because it envelops your vehicle until you can’t see anything. Not the vehicles on the road with you, or the sides of the road, or the road itself. No street signs. No sky. Nothing. Oh, and you’re doing this going up a fairly steep incline and then back down the other side. At night. The road is made of the same ice that continues to coat your car.

You consider stopping to wait out the storm, but as soon as you slow down too much, your vehicle starts sliding backward. And worse, you occasionally spot flashing hazard lights from other vehicles stopped in the middle of the road, which have somehow managed to stop without back-sliding. This creates a veritable obstacle course you must traverse blind, except for the occasional flash of taillights in spots where the fog is less dense.

If you stop, you risk being stuck and possibly hit by another vehicle. Depending on how long you’re there, you also risk freezing to death. If you keep going, you risk sliding off the road (or down a mountain) and / or hitting into something.

What do you do in a situation like that? How do you proceed?

(To find out what I did, read part II, which will post on Friday.)

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Angela Felsted said...

Wow, a cliff hanger. Can't wait to see how it ends. Woman vs. Nature, what a great conflict choice.

Shari said...

Oooh, scary. I've been in storms similar to that on mountain passes. Icky. Glad you made it back ok. (assuming you did, of course)

WindyA said...

Why Nichole, I know nothing of this freak storm of which you speak ... ;)

Angie said...

Yikes! Well, you seem to have survived so that's good.

LeishaMaw said...

Wow, that is freaky. I'm glad you made it. I hate storms like that. *Shiver* We drove through one like that in Canada once. Bad memories. :)