The second night seemed to drag on forever. As much as I loved my Cherry Red Saturn coupe with the pop up headlights, it was becoming rather obnoxious after 48 hours with the two of us and one dog with bad breath. For that matter, our breath was not minty fresh either! At least the dog was eating, HE had food! For the second night I remained sleepless.
As the sun rose over the hills on the third day of our ordeal, I was starting to feel really helpless. There was no food for miles around. We had run out of water and we were trying to find clean snow for our dry mouths. Our last solid meal had been breakfast 48 hours before and after that potato chips, candy bars and what ever little junk food the store had had before it ran out. And, those goodies had been yesterday morning!
And where was the police, the army...someone to help us?
Sometime around 9 AM it was announced that there were now hotel rooms open in Louisville if we could get the 20 miles back North on Hwy. 31. Nobody was coming North on 65 and no one was being allowed South into Kentucky, so Louisville was now a ghost town. With a silent glance at each other we started the car and eased out onto the glare of ice that was Hwy. 31 and turned North.
Slowly we picked up speed. 10 mph, than 15. At 25 mph we started to fishtail. Back down to just below 20 mph. We crawled. After about 30 minutes of this, I had a light bulb moment. We're we crazy? We are driving NORTH? (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?) Everyone knows the weather gets better as you go SOUTH!
After communicating this extraordinary idea to my husband, we both agreed. Turn around and lets head HOME!
So South we went, at the same agonizing slow speed. We grinned as we passed the spot where we had stayed last night. Another car had seized our prime spot. But, yes, we were going home!
We drove and drove and drove. We followed the less than straight state highway path to our destination. We could never go over 20 mph while on Hwy. 31. At one place we watched as a dog loped across a field. His speed and ours were destined to meet head on. On the ice that was this road, we could not afford to brake the car, only ease off the gas and hope for the best.
With tears in my eyes the dog crossed in front of us, safe and sound. Then I cursed it's owner for allowing it out in this weather.
The trip was slow. At every opportunity that Hwy. 31 intersected I-65, we attempted to get on 65 to head South, but was barred by the National Guard. Finally at Elizabethtown, the Guard let on on; as long as we went South! If we were caught going North we would land in the pokey! And our little dog Toto too! (Just kidding on the Toto thing, his name was Panda) We assured the Guard unit that we had NO intentions of heading North at this time!
Welcome to Tennessee!
Never was a sign so loved!
Actually, once we had been able to get on I-65 the roads had not been bad at all. After crossing into Tennessee it seemed like smooth sailing from there. Since we had been fixated on Kentucky news, we had no idea what was going on in Tennessee.
Once you cross into Tennessee from Kentucky you have about an hour before you hit Nashville. Along the way there is not much to see. But as we approached the city of Nashville we could tell something was wrong. Even a few miles out, the city seemed "dead". As we approached the city proper, it was dark, silent. As we passed the mall on the Southern end of the city, it was abandoned. Not normal for a week day.
We tuned to local radio. Nashville and parts South had been hit by an ice storm. Power was out, the city was in disarray.
We continued on as we still had about an hour to go to reach our home. We had no idea what we would find when we arrived.
Around 7 PM we finally turned the key in our door. Our trip from Kentucky had taken not the usual two hours, but 9. Our entire "10 hour trip" had taken about 60 hours.
By the time we had arrived home, our power had been restored, but our pipes had frozen. We thawed the pipes, I showered and then slept for hours. It was bliss.
In the aftermath of this storm, there were parts of Nashville that did not have power for 10 days or more. So I guess you could say we were lucky. We did not suffer for days....only a few. I also have a very real respect for Mother Nature (I've since lived through flash flooding).
My mantra today is: Respect Mother Nature.
Although my husband and I decided to no longer travel between Michigan and Tennessee during the uncertain winter months, I learned that we must always be prepared when we DO travel.
And in that regard, I caution my women friends....a five pound coffee can with a lid is a "must have" if you must pee while traveling by car! Don't forget a blanket/winter gear for everyone (in a cold climate), and water. It does not matter how short your planned trip.
Plans can go wrong.
Happy trails :)
Not quite a Flower child...
- April 09
- ? Nah, not really.
- Retired young, grandma to a 16 YO and 14 month old, who has always wanted to write, always had a story, but have never been able to put it to paper.
Every word is a labor of love, and I stress labor!
As I get to know the community better (I'll admit "IT", I've been somewhat of a "lurker", so I already know some of you!), this bio will expand!
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