Remembering the Blizzards of my Youth
Another road trip adventure. Spent the first two weeks of December near Houston Texas, testing 9 new trucks with PickupTrucks.com. On the track for 0-60 mph acceleration and 60-0 braking, of course the quarter mile racing new trucks against each other. We did MPG loops with and without 10,000 lb trailers. Saw the Gulf of Mexico and froze with the humidity even at 60 degrees. I missed Colorado. I know that traveling back to Colorado from any direction in the winter could mean traveling in a snow storm and that from the South, the snow would start at Amarillo. I’ve driven in many blizzards over the years especially in Eastern Colorado. In my younger days, it was fun jumping through the snow drifts and jack knifing trailers. I could always walk to someone’s house and get a tractor. Been awhile since I’ve driven in a blizzard.
Left the Texas Truck Showdown Saturday afternoon Dec. 12th. I’m in my truck towing my Load-Trail trailer with 9 water totes, hitches, and straps. Hit monsoons North of Houston, cars were in the ditch off I-45. Frontage roads on the side were under water. Next day the weather report showed Raton Pass closed, snow was in the Texas Panhandle. I could either head towards Lamar or backtrack to Wichita. I don’t backtrack. Headed to Amarillo Texas, then the snow hit and high winds. 200 miles of bumper to bumper trucks on ice. Lots of trucks and cars in the ditches. Then they closed 287 at Boise City Oklahoma in the panhandle.
Hours sitting on the roads, then the sheriffs directed us into Boise City where we waited in line for hours. But the storm knocked out electricity so no gas stations, hotels or restaurants were open. The nice folks at St. Pauls United Methodist church invited us in for soup and a place to sleep in their church. Nice to have a bathroom in a blizzard. At sunrise Monday the road opened, 20 mph on ice to the Colorado border. The Dodge 3500 in front of me towing a wedge trailer with two Mercedes Sprinter vans was swerving for miles. Most of the caravan of semi-trucks were cruising at 20 mph. The Dodge jack knifed into the ditch totaling the truck. The driver was smiling and filling lucky. Home now a day late, but grateful and blessed not to freeze to death on a frozen ditch waiting for an ambulance.
Now I remember road blizzards which are a little different than a blizzard in my county, I still carry TP, blankets, gloves and a stocking cap. Don’t forget to fill up with gas and listen to weather reports. My body hasn’t completely warmed up yet. Thanks to Pastor Cindy Robertson Riedel and the Boise City St. Pauls United Methodist church for the ham, soup and coffee and of course shelter from the storm.