Posted by admin | December 26, 2018
Zailey’s first Christmas was spent in Arkansas (actually, all of her Christmases have been in Arkansas) visiting my mother. That year was a bad one weather wise. There was a tornado nearby and so much rain that it flooded out a golf course. With the heavy rain, I wanted to start home later to hopefully hit the end of the storms. Also, there was snow forecasted the farther north we went, so that ruled out going home on a more northerly route through Kansas City (I usually go the south route anyway as it is much shorter). We did well for about half of the trip. In between Independence and El Dorado, Kansas, the fit hit the shan (or something like that).
At this point in the journey, the rain was lightly coming down. The road was wet, but not much standing water, so I didn’t fear hydroplaning. The temperature was getting just below forty degrees, but the wind was blowing. I didn’t account for the wind and that was my first mistake.
We came upon some slower traffic. I passed one vehicle and waited patiently to pass the rest. An SUV behind me wasn’t as patient. They decided to pass as we came up to a bridge. Oh, and they didn’t just pass me, but decided to pass the whole line of vehicles. Me not being worried about this was my second mistake.
Halfway over the bridge, the SUV hit ice. The windchill meant that the rain was freezing on the ground and this bridge was one of the first places to ice over. The SUV slid sideways, and the driver panicked. They hit the brakes which sent them into the left guardrail head on. They were going so fast that they bounced off it and across the two lanes of traffic.
I saw them slide and did not panic. I slowed (not slammed on the brakes) and edged over right, away from the crash. As I saw the SUV cross the highway, I turned left and hit the gas (to prevent fishtailing or spinning). I drove around the SUV as it hit the right guardrail and it spun back straight against it. Everyone in the SUV was okay. My wife, Zailey, and myself were all scared near death, but alive. The car was also unscathed.
After that, I slowed way down and tested the ice conditions every so often. About thirty minutes later, we crossed a valley with trucks stopped on both sides of the road since they couldn’t make it up the hills. I was also having troubles getting up the hill and was only going twenty at this point. At the top of the hill was a rest stop, so we stopped there. The ice was so thick and the wind was so bad, Zailey and I couldn’t go very far before we did our business (yes, I peed in a bush instead of going to the actual toilet). We then spent the night in the car. It sucked, but we got through it.
When traveling, my laptop usually makes the trip. Often, I don’t get a chance to get it out and work on things. Other times, I find lots of time to write (like in Arizona this last October). It all depends on what else is going on.
Unfortunately, I usually have to drive when we travel. When I fly or have someone else driving me, I get out my laptop and work on some things. Usually, it is a bit cramped to work for a long period, but I try to do a little something in these instances. Heck, anytime I can find a spare couple of hours to write, I’m going to grab it and do all that I can with it.
Traveling can sometimes suck, as Zailey can attest to. Most of the time she enjoys the ride and I also try to be that way!