So, you’re probably all tired of hearing about snow storms, blizzards and other winter weather related minutia, like goblins. Too bad. I’ve been on a two-day magical snow odyssey and I need to brag about it to someone. I might also be complaining. I’ll let you decided.
Now, allow me to present my wonderful snow day adventure:
Disclaimer: So, as you may or may not know, the entire Midwest spent yesterday being crapped on my fluffy sky demons. We were all well and warned that the blizzard was coming. Places in western Kansas were destroyed by snow as far back as Wednesday afternoon. I want to really drive home the point that everyone involved in this story should have known to stay the hell at home.
I woke up Thursday morning earlier than I normally get going. I knew that the bad weather was on its way, so I checked the weather system on my phone. According to my phone it hadn’t even started snowing yet. I bundled up, strapped on my shoes and headed out into the morning.
Warning #1: There was already snow on the ground.
As I stepped out onto the driveway, there wasn’t a lot of snow, yet. For some reason, I decided this meant that there wasn’t going to be anymore snow. I felt deeply obligated to head into work. I felt this obligation despite the fact that everyone had spent Wednesday afternoon talking about how no one would come in on Thursday due to the death storms. So, in my brilliant early morning genius, I left the warm comfort of my home and bed, and headed out to face my destiny.
All destiny begins with foolishness. Remember that if anyone ever asks you to face your destiny.
The road that runs by my house was easily navigable. In my head I was getting pretty excited because the gravel road is usually by far and away the hardest part of my trek. From there, I can get on the Interstate all the way into town. By the time I got to the Outer-Line Road, I began to think I should just give up and turn around, but there wasn’t any real need yet. I headed on down the road and got on the highway. There were no other cars at all on the road.
I putted on down the road. I was determined. I was confident. I was the KING OF THE ROAD!
Then a Semi pulled onto the road in front of me. The road crap started getting kicked up on my windshield. My wipers were doing extra heavy-duty, and pretty soon, the snow and muck started to mix into ice on my wiper blades. Wisely, I took the next exit I came to so I could try to clean them off. I pulled into the parking lot of a truck stop, cleared my windshield and blades again, and got back into the car.
Warning # 2: The snow was now up to my ankles.
I decided at this point that my best course of action would probably be to head home. I tried to head back to the interstate, but my car refused to make a left hand turn up the hill. Rather than get stuck in the middle of the road blocking traffic, or more cleverly, backing up back into the parking lot and making my stand there, I turned right.
Deep down inside I was telling myself that by turning the other direction, I could get to the Emergency snow route that would lead me at least back to my roommate’s work, and I could hunker down with him and maybe snag a ride home.
Unbeknownst to me, no plows were running this far south. All of them had been sent into the city to dig out a bunch of emergency vehicles or something. I crept along the winding, hilly road. As I drove, the snow started to really hammer down on me and before long, my windshield was freezing over again.
I turned into a driveway…. and on the second bounce, made it. That’s right, I bounced off the edge of the driveway and landed in the middle of it. I got out and cleared my windows again. I made sure that my car wasn’t destroyed by the bouncing, and was happy to find that my bumper was still completely in tact. I’m not ashamed to admit that I did a little dance.
At this point I heeded all the death storms and called work to tell them I wasn’t coming in. I just wanted to get home to me bed, where a smarter man would have stayed in the first place.
Eventually, I was able to get back into the street and headed on down the road. I finally made it to the emergency snow route…
It wasn’t plowed.
I was pretty much screwed at this point, but there was a bit of traffic flowing along, so I did what anyone would do and smashed my gas pedal until I was part of the stream of cars headed to their eternal doom. I was doing pretty good, and some part of me was happily engaged in the fantasy of laying in bed with a gigantic plate of pizza rolls. I started to head up a pretty good-sized hill and stopped moving.
My little car no longer had the oomph to keep trudging along. I’d this a couple of times before, so I rolled down the hill a little way, trying to get a great running start. I still had no forward juice. I started to roll down some more, moving to at least get off the road. I was officially defeated at this point.
I called a friend and left a voice mail. I was about to break out the emergency rations: a spare blanket, case of bottled water and a thrice-salted suckling pig. You know, the survival basics that everyone keeps in their car. That’s when I noticed a great, dark figure emerging and bounding across the snow fields.
I had managed to get stuck next to the home of a kindly man. He was coming out to help me get my car out of the road and invite me into his home. As luck would have it, a woman in a Jeep Cherokee pulled up behind me and offered to help push me into the guys driveway. It was serendipitous timing.
My host was an extremely kind man. He took me in. Let me watch Doctor Who, and even made me lunch. By the time the snow let up, I was warm, dry and full. I borrowed a shovel and started digging myself out. About this time, my friend called me back and let me know he could come get me. When he showed up, we put our backs into it and got my car free from my host’s driveway. They had finally plowed the roads, so I could drive on.
Our plan was to drive to a gas station near my friend’s home to park my car. Then I’d stay the night at his house and come home today.
Without getting into too terribly long a story, that all did eventually happen, but the parking lot at the gas station hadn’t been plowed yet, either. It took us a little over an hour to get my car into a parking space. By the time we left, I was sure that I would never be able to go home again.
As the snow slowed down and died out, I once again got hopeful. Given an entire night to work, surely all the roads would be cleared off and I’d be easily able to get home. When my roommate texted me to let me know that even our gravel road had been plowed, I knew I would be able to make it.
My friend drove me back to my car, and I headed home. All of the main roads and highways were plowed and dry. I drove on home, happily ready to be back in my own house, with my computer, and my TV and my bed… and yes, my pizza rolls.
When I got to the Outer-line Road, I started steaming. No one had plowed the Outer-Line Road. Highways? check. Gravel road to nowhere? Check. Road connecting the two? F-That!
Fortunately, there was a set of tracks down the middle. I decided that the closer I got to the house, the less I would have to walk. I narrowed my eyes, set my sights on the goal and slammed the gas like a madman.
I barreled down the road, sliding here and there. I smashed through snow drifts and across a few ice banks. I was reckless and brave. I never even got slowed down. I do think I might have strained all the muscles in my wrists and hands. I might have not breathed for several minutes.
Then I got to my gravel road and squeed.
They really had plowed. I had not been dishonestly texted.
I drove on down the road without further incident, relaxed and not at all like a psychopath-with-a-death-wish-that-was-also-really-lucky. I got to my house. They had plowed the end of my driveway closed, but it didn’t look like it was that tall. It only stuck a couple of inches out above the ground around it.
My plan was to get home and hunker down until summer, so I gunned it like a Duke Brother, ramped the snowbank and landed in the driveway… where I am most definitely stuck for the foreseeable future.
So now, I’m finally home. I may never be able to leave again, but that suits me just fine.