Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmastime New Now

I made the drive from Lincoln to North Platte, Ne for the Holiday just today. There was a blizzard on Wednesday, and the slow lane on westbound interstate 80, the one furthest from the Southern Hemisphere's sun, was still covered with ice that had stuck fast even after plowing, so that from Lincoln to Grand Island cars formed a giant snake in the fast lane, crawling at abouts thirty mph while trying to keep a grip on the road and avoid being the cause of a pileup.  Sometimes one of us would attempt to pass when the congested lane slowed to near nothing, turning into the frozen lane and rolling at about 25 until we once again found a space in the safer lane.  After Grand Island it was past noon and temperatures rose to just above freezing.  This thawed the ice and improved driving conditions to near-normal.  Still what is normally a three hour drive took me six this time, and damned if I didn't make it motherfucker!  Grinding my way past yet untidied pileups and overturned semis so completely shredded that their drivers must surely be dead.  Terrible shame for them, but I'm afraid it doesn't stop me from feeling a little......

........... about myself.  I realize it would have been a lot smarter to wait until afternoon before leaving.  I probably would have reached the folks place at nearly the same time and would have spared myself all the danger and stress I've gone through today.  All the same though...

I especially remember this woman in a Honda van who came up behind me during the hazardous stretch.  She tried tailgate goad me into speeding up and when this failed she got into the frozen lane to pass me by at about forty MPH or so.  As she passed me I noticed that she was listening to an I pod,  with several children in the back and Georgia license plates.  So yeah, a woman from the land where no one knows what ice is blindly rolling on the autopilot assumption that freeway = fast while her children slept peacefully in the back.  I never saw her van in the ditch as I carried on so; they got lucky. 

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