Tuesday, January 27, 2009

There's Something About Snow in DC.......

that makes it impossible for even experienced snow-drivers to navigate the streets. I think it's all the rolling hills - and the lack of preparation like salt and snowplows - or maybe it's just the rarity of it all. Or maybe we just move here and immediately forget what it's like to drive in less than stellar conditions. Whatever it is, it sucks.

It snowed this morning - first time this season. It was a rather pretty snow, as snows go, anyhow. Thick, white, fluffy and dry enough that the wipers took it off the windows of the car. No big deal, right? Barely an inch on the ground when I left the house.

An hour later - and a block and a half down the road - I began to feel quite differently about it. It was no longer pretty, it was a disaster waiting to happen. I was going downhill - no big deal - except the cars in front of me, for as far as the eye could see, weren't moving. Probably because they were trying to get UP the next hill. (I live on the top of a series of hills, up and down, up and down, up and down, all the way to work.) I glanced over at the traffic on the other side of the road and realized that there were only 3 or 4 cars headed the opposite way - and none of them were having any success getting there. In a 20 minute block of time I watched at least 4 cars slide right back down the hill and into a car behind them. Up ahead at the corner I watched a garbage truck slide down into the intersection and really make a mess there. I think I moved about 4 car lengths in 40 minutes. I hate that, can't go forward, can't turn around and go back because you're just stuck wherever you are.

I finally made it to the second light ( 2 blocks away) and the car in front of the car in front of me decided he'd had enough and he turned right, got half way up that hill and slid right back down into the passenger side of the the car in front of me.

At that point (an hour after I'd left home and roughly 2 1/2 blocks from home but with 2 miles left to go to work) I called work again and the good Doctor Young told me that everyone had cancelled for the day and I should go back home.

Easier said than done, of course, because now I have to figure out how to turn around and get back up the hill.

I made a left hand turn from the right hand lane (which didn't matter since everyone had already run into someone else already anyhow) and pulled a quick U-Turn and gunned my way up the hill.....don't stop don't stop don't STOP!!!

I had to avoid three stalled vehicles on my way up but somehow, through sheer determination, I managed to keep moving and not hit anyhow. I meant to stop at the light but skidded right through it. Fortunately I was the only one with enough momentum built up to be moving at that point - one more semi-illegal turn and I was in our parking lot.

Dan had given up waiting for the bus already and he was upstairs waiting for me.

And yes, it's supposed to snow again tonight. This time accompanied by freezing rain and sleet.

I think I'll not even try tomorrow.


Eric Valentine said...

How does the song go? "The weather outside is frightening" welcome to Canadian weather.. LOL.. Glad you made it through ok.. :)

Lo said...

Ha!! That's the thing - up until 4 years ago I lived in the midwest - Chicago/Indiana/Lake Michigan area. There was snow on the ground from Halloween to Easter and it never bothered me. It's gotta be the hills, it's gotta be.