Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bad Driving Decisions

Most of you St. Louis folks already know my mistake by choosing I-64/40 on my way into town. I was amazed at how little traffic there was and figured Saturday must be the day to drive to St. Louis. Then, I realized the highway was closed and had to take a very long detour. Jeanne said that I should have MapQuested it and I would have known. Hello---I've only driven to St. Louis a zillion times, so why would I MapQuest it??

Coming home, I made another bad decision. I left mom's at 3:45 a.m. Very light traffic at that time in the morning. I decided that when I reached 70/270, I'd go east through Illinois rather than go all the way downtown and cross there. Bad idea. By the time I reached Hazelwood, the snow started. By the time I got to Florissant, it was really coming down. Passing through Spanish Lake, I noticed all the police lights right before Lilac. I was forced to exit there. I stopped and talked to the cop and had the choice of turning around and catching 170 to connect back to 70, or make a right on Lilac and go to Riverview and then backtracking to 270. I chose the right (you know how I love my "rule of the right")! Luckily for me that there isn't much traffic at 4 a.m. as I skidded through several intersections. By the time I reached Riverview, I decided NOT to take the "Road Less Traveled". Instead, I took a right and went down to Broadway. I headed downtown and picked up 70 again. Had I continued down 70 to begin with, I probably would have missed the snow altogether. By this time, I was thinking, I just want to get out of this god-forsaken city! It was slow going. I'm not stupid---I wanted to get home safely. I had to stick pretty close to 45 m.p.h. almost all the way to Mount Vernon. After that, it was smooth sailing. No, snow.

Paducah is our halfway point. I reached there about 7:30 a.m. and called Butch to see what the weather was like in Nashville. All clear ahead. I was just past Clarksville (about 50 minutes outside of Nashville) when the traffic came to a dead stop. After waiting about 15 minutes, I knew it wasn't a good sign when pickups were turning around and going backwards up the shoulder. I followed them---thank goodness for 4 wheel drive in the mud! I ended up coming into town by way of the Old Clarksville highway. I ended up getting home about 10:30---only 1 hour and 45 minutes later than I should have been. But at least I was safe!! Later, I heard on the news that a truck had collapsed in the middle---no accident, or weather related issue---just broke in half. It was carrying auto parts. It took 20 men 4 hours to unload the truck so they could move it. It had too much weight for the truck. That traffic ended up being backed up all the way past Clarksville for 10 hours!!! I would have DIED if I was stuck that long. I wonder how many people ran out of gas. After all, it was 34 degrees here.

Oh, and when I got home, it started to snow hard. I took a picture and will post it later. By noon, the snow was gone. It did snow off and on all day, but didn't amount to much. When you have 60+ degrees most of the time, the ground just melts it. Still, I'm glad I didn't miss our BIG snow!

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