Sunday, January 04, 2009

From Toasty to Frosty in Three Days

After three days of super intensive driving, we have finally arrived at home sweet home. It was a memorable trip for several reasons.

We left on Jan. 2, and it seems that every Florida visitor from the Eastern Seaboard also left on Jan. 2. The entire State of Georgia was totally clogged all along northbound I-95. I mean totally clogged. There were long periods of time when we were at a complete standstill, followed by being able to move for a while at 25-35 mph. We saw license plates from every eastern State and Province, with the exception of Connecticut and New Brunswick. If they were there we didn't see them.

We left Laurie's house at 9 a.m., and planned to spend 8 hours on the road, stopping in Columbia, SC. The reality was that we spent 11 hours on the road - way too long for rational humans. It was a stressful, tiring day.

Saturday morning we were back on the road by 8 a.m. We had awakened to dense fog advisories. For a while it wasn't too bad, but in the mountains, the fog was very dense indeed. At times visibility was severely limited. I was relieved to see that there were fewer eighteen-wheelers sharing this leg of the trip with us. Mountain driving, rain and fog were enough to deal with. Even with all of that nasty weather going on, it's clear to me that North Carolina is the prettiest state that we drove through. The mountains and valleys, rock outcroppings, and broad vistas were beautiful - even though the sun never came out. We got to our motel in Monroe, Ohio around 5 p.m.

This morning, Sunday, Jan. 4, we woke up to dire predictions of sleet and freezing rain in Michigan. We wanted an early start, and were back in the saddle at 6:30 a.m. Driving north through Ohio, it was just rainy and overcast. As soon as we could, we tuned in WJR and WWJ in Detroit. They were all talking about freezing rain in the area. Part of I-75 near Birch Run had been closed because of icy conditions. Drivers were reporting multiple spin-outs on US 23 at Brighton and also near Dundee. And so on, and so on. Fortunately, by the time we got there, the roads were not too bad - we saw salt trucks, traffic was light, and temps were above freezing. It was unnerving to see 4 ambulances flashing past on eastbound I-94 as we were heading west.
The rest of the trip was blessedly uneventful, and we are thankful to be home.