Sunday, January 23, 2005

Night Snow Driving Home

Since I had little hope of finding more of my target birds, and the storm was getting thicker, I bailed out for the south. I had planned to visit friends in Chicago, but Laura advised against the most direct highway, and said take the Interstate to Minneapolis, then head east. At first the driving was 35 mph, but nearer the twin cities, thanks to relentless plowing, it was ok to go 50. I finally crashed in a rest area N of St Paul, in the great comfy double bag setup, and slept nearly eight hours while the truck rattled and rocked in the wind driven snow. A weather monitor showed the storm heading southeast, and Chicago with over a foot of snow predicted. More discreet than valorous, I changed my plan, and continued south. It wasn't much better. A Ground blizzard of blowing snow under blue skies, sometimes almost full white-out, the wind coming sideways at 30+ mph. I saw at least 50 eighteen-wheelers off the road, on straight stretches, not curves. They'd simply been blown sideways into the median or ditches. That was a good night to sleep through. By Des Moines, there wasn't new snow blowing, but the wind followed me all the way to Arkansas, where I arrived safely around 9:30pm.


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