I didn’t think much of the snow as hit came down yesterday. I looked outside and saw it blowing around. 5 minutes later it was done and the sun was shining. An hour later it was the same scene. Snow then sun.
I always check the traffic maps before leaving work. I hate being stuck in slow traffic and will do just about anything to avoid a back up. The online map said it was a 2 minute difference than normal. Not bad. As I drove to the on ramp I saw the time was now up to 16 minutes, 7 above the normal 9. That is a big change since I checked online roughly 5 minutes earlier. My rule is simple. If the trip is twice as long on the freeway I take the city streets. This time it read 16. By using wise lane choices* I could bring that down to 14, maybe 13.
I noticed the problem as soon as I got on the freeway. Cars were hitting their brakes by each bridge and overpass. They were being overly cautious. I followed suit while keeping an eye on both the traffic and the road. It looked like the pavement was fine but in some areas it glistened a bit in the setting sun. I hadn’t driven a mile before every car was coming to a stop. There were two cars in the left shoulder stopped, with one having the front bashed in. On the right shoulder was a sheriff speaking to the driver whose car had done a 180 and was now facing oncoming traffic. Another ¼ mile down the road and it wasn’t much better. The snow that fell had melted on the freeway and quickly frozen into ice. It was just enough to cause mayhem on the drive home.
I got off the freeway and made the trek to my alternate ghetto route. I took a left onto Capitol Drive and felt the back of my car veer out a bit. This overpass looked wet but had a bit of slickness to it. Just further down the road I felt my car fishtail again as I went over a bridge. Things were icing up quickly. I wasn’t too concerned because the route I would take was all city streets. No bridges ahead. Until I got back to the freeway again.
I hopped back onto HWY 41 by the stadium. I drove a mile before slowing down to see the wreckage from the vehicular pinball machine. Cars on both sides of the freeway had slid over a bridge and bounced around. On my side there were 7 cars and a school bus. I
moved over to get by the scene trying not to slide my car into them. I may like to drive fast but I am not stupid when it comes to slick roads. I know to take it easy especially with my Mustang. Hit the gas too much and you may as well be on a slip and slide.
As I drove past the downtown area I noticed the road was in great shape. Over the Hoan Bridge and it was all dry from there. It looked like it barely snowed on the south side of Milwaukee.
That was enough for me to take the Explorer into work today. It may mean time to switch vehicle and keep the pony in the barn until spring.
*Wise lane choices does not mean weaving in and out like a madman, constantly going from lane to lane, hoping to find the one that keeps moving. It means strategically changing lanes as I go down the freeway. There are certain spots on the ride home where one lane always moves smoother than the other. It changes as you go south. I adjust my driving pattern to hit each change as I can.
On a slightly different note, I read a great post this morning that reminds me of one of the best thing about Vegas. Actually, two of the best things about Vegas. The people you are with and the people watch. I am looking forward to meeting friends out there next month. They are a great group of people from different background and interests. Among many things, they provide me perspective on ways to see life. Pauly over at the Tao of Poker always give life a unique perspective. Go check out this post: Existentialist Conversations with Hookers: Maelstrom at the Hooker Bar. It is a great piece of writing. And don't worry, it isn't about poker. Just some of the depravity that is typical of Vegas.
One other thing that caught my attention yesterday. Because I was watching the Cowboys game, I had to record Entourage. The episode itself was ok. What I did like was when they played Rammstein's Du Hast when the German director went on a rampage through the studio's offices. In a word...BRILLIANT!!!