Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I spent my Christmas Eve stuck in a blizzard.

In my Merry Christmas post, I alluded to the fact that we had an exciting experience over the Christmas holidays. Well, I think I'm officially over the trauma of it all to actually write about it. ;-)

It all started on Christmas Eve, when we departed for the 8 hour drive to Alex's hometown. We knew there was going to be bad weather and snow along the trip, but we definitely underestimated the extent of it. When both of our moms tried to talk us into leaving the day before because of the weather predictions, we said things like "Oh stop worrying...it's no big deal! We'll be fine!"

Oh how we would regret those words later.

So about 4 hours into the trip we start hitting some SERIOUS snowing and icing conditions. It was scary. We were driving at about 30 miles per hour (or less) because of the low visibility and the likelihood of hitting icy roads. We were passing wreck after wreck after wreck on the side of the highway...people who had just minutes before hit an ice patch and veered off into the barriers. Scary stuff!

So at this point we start thinking "Crap. Maybe we should stop and let the weather pass." But then we decide to just try to make it to the next major city before we pull off the highway. BIG.FREAKING.MISTAKE.

About 3 miles from the exit off the highway where we were planning on exiting to wait it out, we come to a standstill. And we don't move. For 1 hour. For 2 hours.

We get a call from a family member who lives in the city we were attempting to get to and she tells us that she is hearing news reports that they shut down the interstate. With no mention of when they'll be reopening it. Awesome.

So we wait, and wait, and wait. Never moving. With a blizzard going on outside our car, which makes it impossible (or just stupid) to get out and walk or stretch your legs. We got stuck at 2pm and didn't get moving again until 12:30pm on Christmas Day. No food in the car (other than dog food....we weren't that desperate). No toilet (I never thought I'd actually have to pee into a receptacle (mini-cooler lunch box thing) in a car....well....I did). Nothing to do. No where to go. 10+ hours.

On a positive note, we had just filled up with gas right before getting stuck, so we were good on that. Plus, we had a lot of extra coats in the car so during the periods when we turned the car off to conserve gas we had plenty to bundle up with. Also, at the last minute we decided to take the truck instead of my small SUV. Thank GOODNESS, because the truck is wayyyyyy more roomy than the SUV and way more safe to drive in those conditions.

Here are some pictures from the time when we were stuck...

Libby was such a trooper...she just slept the whole time.

He was rather discouraged.

See the snow blowing vertically across the picture...yeah...not fun.

10+ hours and 14 inches of snow later, the traffic started moving. It was shortly after the clock struck midnight, aka Christmas day, and if that's not an example of God's works then I don't know what is.

When we finally got off the interstate we headed to the nearest hotel and bunked down for the night. It certainly wasn't how we anticipated spending our Christmas Eve, but in the end it's an experience we will never forget. And from now on we'll be sure to have back-up snacks and supplies in the car in case of emergency. :)

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