It snowed here, again. Friday, we got anywhere from 4 to 6 inches, depending on where you measure. It was a bitch to drive in and drive in it I did. I left Monroe, NC at 3:34 PM. My GPS unit said I would be home @ 7:33 PM.  It was 11:00 PM when I got here. I hit snow just outside of Charlotte at 4:00 and it was pretty much downhill from there. Greenville had a lot of ice on the road and a few wrecks. South of Greenville, though, the roads were just wet but it was snowing harder. I did OK from there until about 1-1/2 miles from the exit I get off of I-85 on. Everybody just stopped. Didn’t move over 100 ft for the next 30 minutes. I switched to local radio from satellite and heard people talking about sitting in the same area for hours. I was determined not to get in a hurry coming home from the beginning but I had a time limit on my overly caffeinated bladder. A quick survey of the surroundings confirmed that if I had to let loose and ‘write my name’ on the white line on I-85 (a little thingy I like to thing of as “signing the dotted line” <snerk!>), the cops couldn’t get to me even if that old bat in the OldsmoBuick Landyacht DID call them. As it turned out, I maintained my civility as well as my dry pants long enough to get to a Racetrac station. Anyway, that was a little before 9:30 PM and I had about 30 miles to go to get home. That took 1-1/2 hrs. Average speed – 20 MPH.

There is no big climatic ending to the story except to say I got home in one piece. I learned a few things though:

1) There are some dumb asses out there. I was out there because I had to get home. I wasn’t just joyriding. I can give the benefit of the doubt that a lot of the others out there were not there for kicks but rather necessity. My main goal in life was to get home in one piece, though. Their’s seemed to be to see how fast they could go while hopefully keeping the car on the road. I had a guy pass me in a curve on solid ice just this side of Winder. I swore to myself that if I saw him down the road in the gulley, I would call 911 but I would not stop to help his stupid ass. Why risk my vehicle and my safety to help an irresponsible dumbass when I was doing everything I could to get home alive? Screw him. Hope he made it home OK but I hope he loses his nuts in a hot coffee incident before he procreates. That’s not just me talking – that’s Darwin.

2) Guard rails at really steep drop offs are woefully short of where they need to be. Man! A few creek bottoms I came up on were a tad on the scary side. Where you start sliding is BEFORE the guard rails, too. Coulda went right off behind them in a second flat. Just sayin’.

3) Thank God for the guys and chicks out there driving tow trucks, utility trucks, police, fire, ambulance, pizza delivery, snow plow, salt trucks, etc. And before you wonder why I included pizza delivery guys in there, think about it this way: Every pizza they delivered kept at least one car (probably with a few people in it) off the road. I hope those guys got tipped to the point of kicking back on a beach real soon.

If you find yourself out there sometime and get in a pickle of an ice incident, just use common sense and slow down. Don’t apply constant pressure to your brakes going down hill and don’t trust the anti-lock to figure it out for you – If you have to brake, just easily apply them for a second or so and let up. Keep doing this to reduce or limit your speed only as much as necessary. Otherwise, stay away from the brake. If you’re going slow enough while approaching a stop, you can just about coast to a stop. Don’t tailgate the car in front of you and by “tailgate”, I mean “occupy the same ZIP code as”. You really have to allow a lot of room between you and the guy ahead of you. Otherwise, just do what you have to to get home to your family. That cheesedick that passed me may think he impressed me by doing it and in a way he did – I’m impressed what a cheesedick he is. But I bet I impressed my wife and daughters a lot more by walking in the door in one piece.

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