We are home. You haven’t truly experienced a drive to and from Florida until you’ve made the trip in a box truck – just ask Ryan. I have a hydraulic driver’s seat, so I don’t endure the bumps and jolts of the interstate like someone on the passenger side.
I watched the weather very carefully leading up to our departure (what did we do before the Weather Channel?) because I wanted to make sure that Atlanta and northern Georgia had a chance to deal with their second major snowstorm in two weeks before we rolled through. So we rode our favorites at Universal Studios one last time and then started north about 3:00 on Thursday afternoon. Stopped for the night just south of Cordele, GA – far enough into Georgia that we could get home on Friday, but far enough south that anything that might have frozen on the roads in and north of Atlanta had ample time to thaw before we got there.
And it did. We saw lots of downed tree limbs and mini-icebergs along the road, but really didn’t see a lot of snow on the grassy areas until we got almost all the way to Chattanooga. We stopped for a bite just south of Knoxville and from there it was smooth sailing home – we were expecting a dusting of snow around home, but no more than an inch so it shouldn’t affect the roads much.
And then my cell phone buzzed twice about 90 miles into Kentucky, and I saw those three little words that bring unbridled joy to any northerner’s heart these days – Winter Storm Warning.
So I stopped to fill up and took a look at the radar while the diesel fuel was flowing. What I saw wasn’t pretty – and it started as rain just a couple of minutes after we got back on I-75. Just north of Lexington it started to mix with snow, and 100 miles from home it turned into a full-blown snowstorm. And a drive that usually takes less than two hours took more than four. The roads were bad, but it was one of those “keep it at about 35 mph and you’ll be fine” kinds of bad. Unfortunately, we kept getting behind people who were panicking and creeping along at about 20 mph – those folks upset the truckers and they go whizzing by way too fast in an untreated lane. And that’s when I start getting scared . . .
But we made it safely. Got to the house, unloaded the luggage and my golf clubs, picked up a car, drove the truck to the mail center (if I had left it parked in front of my house last night, it would have been plowed in this morning), and then back home. This morning, I got up and blew another 5”-6” of Mother Nature’s finest off my driveway, then came into work to catch up a little.
And what I saw clinging to the truck made me realize what we had been through . . .
For those of you who never venture out of warmer climates, this is frozen road slop. And there is a license plate underneath there someplace.
The rear view mirrors caught it as well. I have had quite enough – I put the following note on my Facebook page this morning – “Somebody has to do it . . . I hereby declare Winter over . . . just cleaned off the driveway and ran the rest of the gas out of the snowblower. It has worked hard enough and it's time for it to go back into hibernation . . .”
Think it’ll work? Neither do I. But all of this lingering whiteness is turning my front walk into a cavern . . .