Tuesday, December 13, 2011


We took another trip to Texas this last weekend to go to our granddaughters 8th birthday and her baptism.  We had to work at the Storehouse on the Thursday that we left, so just thought we'd work until it closed at 3pm and then drive to Lubbock to spend the night.  Since we had to bring in a present that we made our granddaughter so we could find a box for it, they knew we were planning on leaving that day.  They told us to go ahead and leave, so we actually were able to leave about an hour and a half earlier that we thought we would.  We stayed in Lubbock that night and drove onto Dallas the next day.  We had a great visit with our daughter and her family.  We were going to go visit my husband's mother on our way home and spend Monday night in her town, but when we called her Monday morning, she was not feeling well so we ended up just stopping by for about an hour and dropping off Christmas presents.  We had also left Dallas late that morning because we had to run by Rockler, my husband's favorite store (woodworking) so he could pick up some Christmas presents for himself from me. :0)  We didn't leave his mom's until about 3pm.  It's about a 7 1/2 hour drive home from her house. 

We were a little concerned because we started running into fog almost immediately and ran in and out of fog, some of it pretty heavy, all the way to about 2 hours from our town.  By the time we got off the state highways and onto the main interstate, it was raining, but that was better than fog.  Weather conditions got worse the further we went.  We knew we'd probably run into snow at one place that is a higher elevation and we were correct, but a few miles down the road it changed back to rain.  We could see that the fields all still had snow in them.  As we left the last town before ours, it started to snow.  This was not a good sign.  We started our ascent up the last hill before our descent down the canyon and the snow increased, turning into what I termed as a blizzard.  It was snowing really hard and the snowflakes were really big.  We passed the sign that is supposed to flash when the highway is closed, but there were no lights flashing.  Just then we looked ahead and there were about 5 highway patrols cars ahead with their lights on.  I mentioned to my husband that they must be closing the highway, but that was not the case.  As we got closer we saw a Fed Ex semi jack-knifed with the trailer laying on it's side across 2 lanes of traffic.  We had to slow down to about 20 miles an hour and go around it on the shoulder.  Once around the wreck, the snow got harder and the highway was quickly covered.  We could see directly in front of us and about 20 feet, but that's it.  We couldn't see the white line on either the center or the sides of the road.  There was a brown path (from them sanding the highway) that we followed, but all the cars were single file.  There was us, another car and 2 diesels.  The other car exited later but the 2 semi's continued to follow us.  It got harder and harder to see and by this time we had started down the canyon.  We were only doing about 40 mph (and we really shouldn't have been going that fast) and at first had the diesels right on our bumper.  Finally he pulled back - probably when he had to gear down, but he would still catch up with us every once in awhile.  The worst part was it seemed to take forever and I never thought we would get out of it!  I was leaning forward trying to help my husband see.  Every time the semi would get close to us, we thought he might try to pass us.  One time my husband tried to pull over to the right and almost immediately I heard the tires run onto the rumble strips, so I told him that was the edge of the road and not to go any further.  Finally, finally, finally the road started getting better and then finally the snow changed back to rain and the highway cleared completely and we continued to drive in the rain on down the canyon into our city.  As we looked back in our rearview mirrors, we noticed that it was ONLY us and the 2 semis that came down the mountain.  It made me wonder if they had turned on the flashing sign after we went through, because we sure didn't see anyone else as we drove into the city.  That was one of the scariest things I have experienced.  I never want to experience it again, but I am so thankful that the Lord watched over us and kept us safe and gave my husband the patience and skill to get us safely down that mountain highway. 

When we went to Texas at Thanksgiving, we drove back in high winds and sandstorms all the way.  This time it was fog and blizzards.  I think we're going to stay home for awhile...:0)


Delirious said...

Oh my gosh I'm glad you are safe! That is terrifying!

Inklings said...

That's scary, and brings back memories of when we lived in Flaming Gorge. I would have to go pick kids up after ball games where they went to high school, an hour away. We lived on the mountain, with steep drop offs. I would drive in white-outs where I had to look at reflector posts to know where to drive on the road, and I also came upon a jack-knifed semi one night. I do not miss those days! Also, I would bring other kids home with us, and we'd come home to dark houses where all the parents were asleep, so if we had slid off the road, no one would have come looking for us until the next day. :0s

By the way, my word verification is acheake - the headache that kind of driving causes? :0)