Wednesday, December 07, 2005


We're under a winter weather advisory and expecting our first snow of the season. We'll probably get 1-3 inches, which isn't so bad, and it's dry so it will blow off the road and not cause too many travel problems, not that I'll worry about that. But back in 1990 I was driving a Pontiac Fiero (remember them?), and it started snowing as I left work at 4:00 for the 20 mile trip home. It was a wet snow and came down in big clumps, covering the road very quickly. Half-way home I had to stop and scrape the snow off the windshield; it was thick and packed around the wipers rendering them useless. Every half-mile I repeated the process, stopping in the middle of the highway. I couldn't pull over because I wouldn't be able to pull back onto the road, it was so slippery. And, besides, I was the only fool on the road by that time. I crept along at 5 mph trying to keep the car on high center. The engine was in the back over the drive wheels so I had enough traction to keep moving, but the front end was so light it took great effort to keep it pointed forward. I went up one hill at a 45 degree angle, keeping a steady 5mph and hoping I wouldn't break my traction. The snowfall kept increasing and visibility was around 50ft. It was before cell phones so I couldn't call Dorothy and tell her where I was. There is one pay phone between Tahlequah and home but I couldn't risk getting stuck by stopping to make a call. So I kept up my steady but slow progress, over hills and around tight curves, until finally at 7:15, I pulled into the driveway.
I told myself I would never do that again. If the snow was that heavy I would just get a motel room in town. So, a few years later, as I left work the snow was coming down heavy and looked like a repeat of the first storm. So I checked into a motel to spend the night. I woke up in the wee hours and looked out the window. The streets were wet but clear; I could have make it home. From then on, I just faced the storm and ploughed through. But, I've never seen another snow storm as bad as that one.

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