Mis-Adventures on Interstate 29


I really don’t like adventures when I am driving.  This is particularly true on highways or in air craft.

When we started out driving down Interstate 29 (I-29) on our way to Arizona, it was great until Grand Forks. After that it started snowing lightly. I was not worried. I was wrong! Again. The snow kept slowly increasing. Eventually, because the temperatures hovered around the freezing mark my windshields kept freezing up with slush. Visibility was not great. Road conditions kept getting icier. I was even worried that I would run out of windshield wiper fluid. We had hoped to make it as far as Brooking South Dakota, but pulled in at Watertown instead. The roads were getting slippery and it was past sundown. Our rule is to stop driving when the sun goes down, and we had already pushed it by half an hour and we did not want to push it another hour. This was an extremely wise decision. So far so smart.  What followed was not so smart.

First we checked into the Days Inn in Watertown. That was good. We had a leisurely drink in the hotel room. I sampled my new rum. Excellent. It helped that we were feeling so smart at having checked in to the hotel and got off I-29.   Whenever I feel smart I should be now know that means trouble is ahead. Then we went for dinner. Here wisdom started to get ragged. We were misled by the GPS which was trying to send us to Brooking for the restaurant we had dialled in. We must have dialled it in wrong. Sarah (the GPS) can’t make mistakes like that. Then I had a bright idea. Well actually it was not so bright. I figured Sarah was sending us down I-29 because Watertown must have had a second exit.  Very wrong! Chris had resisted this conclusion thinking it was not based on sound reasoning. She was right!  Very right! She tried to stop me but I was not listening. Now that we were on I-29 we could not get off it for 11 miles. And in the time we had checked in to the hotel room conditions had deteriorated badly.

The road was much icier. In fact it was incredibly icy. And there were cars in the ditches. Many cars in the ditches. What were we doing back on the Interstate when we had been safe in the hotel? I could have kicked myself around the block but we were committed to going 11 miles south and then 11 miles back. And we fulfilled our commitment solely on white knuckles and guts. It was a very scary ride. Most of the traffic was going at 30-40 miles per hour, or less. We wondered if that was slow enough. Only 2 cars passed us and we passed only 1 car. There actually was one car going slower than us. We had proven again, even though we already knew it well, life is hard when you are stupid.

We did eventually make it back to Watertown and we were happy. Very happy! Our adventure was not quite over. We found a restaurant near to our hotel but it was so slippery on the parking lot we gave up and drove back to the motel where we planned to order delivery food. We could not walk from our car to the restaurant because it was too slippery. A restaurant along the way had an outside take-away service and we ordered sandwiches and brought them back to the hotel. I dropped Chris off at the front door so she could get in easily. I had one more adventure–getting from our car in the hotel parking lot to the side door. Even that required inordinate courage. Finally, back in the room, our blood pressure started returning to normal.

Life is hard when you are stupid.

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