Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hands at 10 and 2

I spent an hour and a half this afternoon driving from the Amtrak station to my home -- a 40 mile drive.

The snow had started earlier this morning. By 12:30, when my train finally rolled into the station from New York, it had been snowing, sleeting and raining for hours. The interstate was covered in some of the nastiest slush that I've ever seen. Drivers crossing lanes -- if you could see lanes, that is -- stirred up massive amounts of dirty ice to coat windshields. I saw a lot of snowplows, except that they all were clearning the other side of the highway.

To add to my driving pleasure, the sleet turned to blurry ice that my wipers couldn't clear off fast enough, even at the highest speed and with the defroster running at full-blast. I had to lower a back window to reduce the amount of smothering heat within the car.

Travel speed ranged from 15 to 40 mph. Twice I passed small cars that clearly had lost control. One of them actually protruded into my lane. Luckily, the 18-wheeler next to me had the presence of mind to swing wide enough to allow me to avoid hitting the other car's rear-end. Thank goodness I have an all-wheel-drive vehicle; and that I'm cautious enough to control my speed (yes, one of those very rare moments!).

Those 90 minutes rank among the longest of my life. And it probably was the first time since driver's ed that I kept my hands at the 10 and 2 positions on the wheel.

I can't wait for tomorrow morning 'cuz all this precipitation is expected to freeze solid over night. Do snowplows scrape up ice as well as snow?

1 comment:

smoness said...

Stories like this are not making me want to come visit you any quicker. -- Glad you're safe.