Welllll. We were going to try for Pennsylvania today but the weather replied, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS,” and snowed us right off the road. Not literally, luckily. My dad tapped out when the snow started to get serious – no more Mr. Nice Snow, as they say (?). My dad had been driving the whole day anyway, it was “too dangerous” for me to drive apparently, so he was glad to get off the road. I was glad to get off the road because I was sitting in abject terror for 3/4 of the drive today; semis were flying around the roads like they were in the Ice Capades. The remaining quarter of the time, I was asleep. Not driving is exhausting! I can only be in a state of pure, unadulterated fear for so long before my body poops out and resorts to its only defense: sleep.
We stopped driving early in the day and spent most of the afternoon lounging around the hotel room like we owned the place (we sorta do, right? Maybe it’s considered more of a timeshare). I was supposed to be picking my classes for next semester during the extra time I had today but sitting and looking at funny pictures on the internet won out instead. Clearly, I have my priorities straight. I’m definitely ready to be a Serious Academic again.
The Weather Channel was on for a good five hours straight because it turns out weather is an important factor for travel. (WHAT?!) Unfortunately, the main weather lady was making really inane comments and saying things like, “We’ll have Bob Whatshisface, the resident meteorologist, make sense of all of these pretty colors on the Doppler radar in a second!” First of all, I understand there is a limited amount of information and fluff you can work into Weather Channel programming, but those ‘pretty colors’? Yeah, no. That’s like looking at a tornado and saying that you like that little turny-twisty dance it does. Iago is no joke. Except for that name. That’s a joke. It reminds me of an iguana. And iguanas are not that scary. They need to start giving these storms more threatening names. THOR IS COMING, EXPECT ROAD DELAYS. ZEUS IS COMING, 400 FEET OF SNOW EXPECTED. ACHILLES IS COMING, STOCK UP ON EMERGENCY SUPPLIES. Nope. “Iago is coming, expect a shortage of flies and other insects.”
Dad and I spend a good amount of time prancing around taking photos of the snow. In the midst of prancing, however, I discovered one of my boots had a hole in it because water began to seep into my boots and was immediately absorbed by my fuzzy socks – it was straight of a scene from a paper towel commercial, you guys. I might as well have been wearing sponges in my boots. My actual snow boots are buried in the Hoarders-style mountain of things stuffed into the cab of the truck, unreachable by any mortal. This means I’ll be in my holey boots until I get to PA. Such is life.
But to end things on a positive note, we did eat a delicious meal at a “fancy” restaurant. I say “fancy” with quotation marks because my dad had to put real pants on instead of wearing his shorts. They also had those baby forks and little plates – obviously upscale for us plebes. In my fog of exhaustion, I forgot to put my napkin on my lap and Dad decided to point this out to the waitress in order to embarrass/shame me. Cute, Dad.
Not only did we drive thirteen hours and lose yet another hour to time zone changes yesterday (what’s the deal with time zones?), I evidently failed to reserve a hotel room correctly while simultaneously texting, driving, and emailing. How could I screw up something so simple?
So, there I was at the front desk last night, without a confirmation number, but with lots of credit cards. Thinking fast (or as fast as my mileage-addled brain would allow), I winked at the front desk clerk, and she he magically discovered an available room.
Old School Tactic, Daughter.
But it was almost 11:00 p.m. by then, anyway.
And I already knew we could kiss today’s Early Start goodbye. And to add further insult, I was asleep before Daughter.
Yep. It was a long day.
As I anticipated, the Highway Gods exacted their revenge today, even while Daughter “mailed it in” from the passenger seat, the beneficiary of a modified (multi-layer) FaceTent (trademarked). That’s right, when the first driving shift (mine) was over, the second (mine) then started. And Daughter started her second nap stint.
To be absolutely fair, I felt the most prudent course of action was for me to handle the load. The weather absolutely sucked, and got worse from there. No more desolate landscapes with 80 mph-posted speed limits. We’re talking 60 mph max, heavy rain turning to snow, and semi tractor-trailer rigs as far as the eye could see (which wasn’t far).
Quite frankly, I don’t like experiencing life in the slow lane, off cruise control, staring at the butt-end of yet another freaking hideously large truck.
And to continue my rant from my last entry, many of these semi guys simply have no shame. At least that’s the way it appears to me.
Cut in front of a fast-closing vehicle (me) – no problem. Stay in the left lane forever – no problem. Unconsciously annoy Daughter – no problem.
You see, they’ve got it all covered.
But I was more worried about the deteriorating weather and becoming stranded, without access to foo-foo coffee and a semi-warm bed. The sum total of the food stuffs on board was two bananas, an apple, some hotel mints, and half a loaf of gluten-free bread (essentially a bag of cardboard scraps).
After assessing the situation and the possibility would could potentially be somewhat hungry by nightfall (not thirsty – I figured we could melt snow to drink), we pulled off the interstate early (only six hours today) and watched Winter Storm Iago on the Weather Channel, instead of through the front windshield.
Was it the right decision? I’ll know tomorrow if – we finally reach our destination (at least a day late) in one piece, before darkness falls, and Daughter spends more time driving than sleeping.
Hope springs eternal.