On the first evening of our trip to Arizona, we ended up staying in Watertown, the scene of last year’s disaster. For those of you who did not read my blog last year, let me explain.
First, we cut our drive on Interstate -29 short on the first day of our journey last year on account of freezing rain. We lounged in our hotel room for about an hour toasting our smarts in getting off the highway to a safe harbour in the hotel. We were exceedingly proud of ourselves.
Then we went to dinner, but because I was stubborn and foolish, I did not listen to my smart wife who warned me not to turn right as we were leaving the hotel, and as a result we ended up right back on the 1-29. Freeway. Only this time it was exponentially worse. The highway was incredibly icy. Cars and trucks were everywhere in the ditch and on the meridian. I had to drive 12 miles to the next exit before I could turn around. Then I drove another 12 miles back on nothing but white knuckles and guts. It was a terrifying ride. I have rarely, if ever been as angry with myself as I was that night. And I have had many occasions to be mad at myself. I had been perfectly safe in the hotel room and I ruined it!
As if that was not bad enough, the next day we were socked in by a blizzard. Since by then our car doors were totally iced shut I had to tramp in a blizzard to Walmart to pick up windshield wiper fluid to de-ice the locks and car doors. As I was working on the car in the freezing conditions I was very annoyed by my smart wife who was yelling at me by the hotel door. Why would she bother me when I was working so hard? It turned out she had gone to window with a vague suspicion that I might be as stupid as I was. She “knew” I was de-icing the wrong car! Some lucky car owner must have wondered who the Good Samaritan was that de-iced his car. Only I (and Chris) knew it was not a Good Samaritan. It was a Good Dummy. After that I had to de-ice my own car, and thankfully I had enough fluid left to do that. As I keep saying, life is hard when you are stupid.
Well a year later almost to the day we were back in Watertown. As the good book says, “As a dog returneth to his vomit so x a fool returneth to his folly.” That was me. Only this time I was not quite as stupid. This time we drove in easily. There had been another awful winter storm but this time we avoided it completely. By the time we got there the storm was over. Yesterday morning I-29 had been closed all the way to the Canadian border. Today it was open and much better. We saw only the remnants of the storm. Huge piles of snow beside the road and again large numbers of vehicles in the ditch and meridians again.
According to USA Today, the storm had caused 20 million people in the Midwest to be given winter storm advisories yesterday. It also reported, “The fierce storm had closed interstates and caused hundreds of crashes over the weekend in the north central U.S., where conditions were especially bad in the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Minnesota.”
But this time we were lucky. Sadly, not smart, but at least lucky. We had intended to leave on December 29 right into the teeth of the storm, but were delayed by a visit from our son Stef. Since he left for home on December 31, 2019 we decided to wait until then too. Lucky us. This time. Thanks Stef.