Worst weather of the winter
Monday, February 15, 2021
Today the forecast was for extreme cold (at least for Texas), freezing rain, perhaps snow, and general weatherly misery. But this morning it wasn't bad. There was ice on the car, and of course the ice scraper I used to have got broken probably a few years ago. I need such a thing so seldom it didn't even occur to me to replace it. I used my dd's leg brace to scrape as much ice off as I needed to, until the defroster kicked in.
We made it to church and back without any trouble There was some ice on the pavement at church, but they were on top of things and had put plenty of salt (and some kitty litter) all over the paths where people would walk.
After that, however, we went to a friend's house for a few hours. We didn't stay long, but it was starting to drizzle at that point, and with the cold, of course it would freeze. Then I needed a restroom, and my dd wanted to get some fast food. In retrospect, I should have said no to the fast food, but I didn't.
By the time we got the food, and left the drive through, the roads were significantly worse than they had been. Of course, the biggest problem is that, in Texas, there is no budget for snow/ice remediation. Iow, if there is freezing rain, there is ice on the roads, and no one comes around to do anything about it. And we were a long way from home.
The absolute worst was right after we left Culver's. The frontage road for the highway was black ice. I knew there was a problem when I turned onto the frontage road and saw a string of cars ahead of me, all with their flashers on, and none of them moving. I stopped behind the closest one, and eased my foot off the brake. The car started sliding of its own accord.
I gently hit the brake again, and took stock of the situation. I knew that emergency vehicles would be in huge demand. And, there was no accident. They wouldn't be coming that direction at all, at least, not for a very long time. And I wasn't going to sit there for hours. I definitely didn't have enough gas to keep warm there all night long, and I wasn't going to put it to the test, anyway. I was going to have to start moving.
The far left lane, two lanes over from where I was, seemed to be better, as I saw some cars moving on it. My car was wanting to go left, anyway. I gently eased off the brake and steered left as carefully as I could. It was scary. But I made it into the left lane, and it was indeed much less icy than the lane I had been in. I accelerated a bit, and managed to pass all the stopped cars in the lane I had just gotten out of.
That was far and away the worst. I did have to nurse my car the rest of the way home. I don't think I drove more than 20 mph the whole way, and I was a nervous wreck, hands clenched on the steering wheel, and every muscle tense. When we got close to home, a car ahead of us on the road lost control and spun in a circle. Fortunately, everyone on the road was going about 10 mph, so no accident happened. Everyone who needed to, stopped in time, the driver managed to get control of his/her car, and we all started inching forward again. I have never been so relieved to get home!
Now, I am sitting in front of a nice fire, thanking God for antilock brakes, and all the past experience I have had driving on icy roads. Not leaving this house tomorrow for anything!