Thursday, February 20, 2014

Slip, Sliding Away

Lorraine & Jerry
We decided to drive up to Iowa to visit my in-laws over President's weekend. We didn't see them over the holidays and this would give us a chance to not only spend Valentine's Day with them, but also celebrate their 62nd wedding anniversary. At the time we made the decision there was no bad weather in the forecast. When we left St. Louis Friday morning there was a little bit of freezing rain. The further north we traveled, the worse the weather got. The windshield wiper fluid would not come out of the designated holes, and between the slush from the road and the sleet, we could barely see out of the windshield. We stopped at a gas station in Bowling Green to clean off the window and fill up the tank - just in case. When I went in to use the restroom I asked the women in there if any of them had come from the north. Another woman said they were traveling from St. Louis to Des Moines, but she thought they were going to turn around. The women at the cash registers said that Hannibal was a mess and Palmyra got 4 inches of snow. I told Jim I thought we should head back home. He called his dad, who said it was sunny and dry in Charles City. Jim wanted to try going a little further.

I should admit here that I am not a good traveler under normal conditions. I prefer to drive rather than be the passenger. But I do not like to drive when the roads are icy. Jim took over the wheel, and I tried to keep my mouth shut. Everywhere I looked there were cars in the ditch. As we got close to Hannibal, it was as if they didn't own any snow plows in that area. It was horrible! To top it off, we stopped again to fill up and grab some food and when I walked the dog, I fell on the ice. Knee, hip, wrist and shoulder took the brunt of it. At least I didn't break anything! Once we got into Iowa, the road conditions improved. They were still snow packed, but at least the slow lane was halfway decent to travel on. A drive which normally takes us 6 hours was 7 and a half instead.

Charles City already had over a foot of snow on the ground, but they got several more inches on Saturday. Luckily we had nowhere we needed to go. Sunday was cold but sunny. Then we saw the forecast for Monday, which is when we planned to come home. More snow was predicted so we decided to see what the morning brought. I was reading reports of freezing rain from St. Louis up through southern Iowa, and Charles City was expected to get another 4 inches of snow. This time we decided to stay put since it looked like Tuesday would be clear with a warming trend. We took advantage of the extra time to visit with relatives and play card games.

Sure enough, the roads were excellent on Tuesday. We left 26 degree weather and pulled into a balmy 64 degrees St. Louis. Unbelievable. Now I remember why I say I won't travel this time of year.

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

There is one word for driving in those conditions: harrowing!! Glad you made it!