Hello friends! Did you guys watch the news yesterday and today? Did you hear about the absurd gridlock that happened yesterday afternoon and evening? It started snowing around 11am, I think, and it was really pretty. Around 12:30pm, we were encouraged to head out and work from home for the rest of the day. You know what? Apparently, the exact same thing happened in every office building in Atlanta. Plus, schools too. About 1 million Atlantans hit the roads at the exact same time. Here’s what happened to me on my trek home.
I left work at 12:45. I figured traffic would be bad and it would take me a few hours. I called a few friends to pass the time. It was funny and I tried to keep my spirits up. I had a water bottle and a cookie, I was fine for a few hours. After hour 3 it wasn’t as funny. I texted my boss to say I wasn’t going to be working from home any time soon.
It took hours to travel just a couple of miles. Luckily, I chose a non-interstate route, not because I knew it would be easier, but purely by luck. Also lucky, I happened to have a full tank of gas when I started the trek. My total commute is 23 miles. It usually takes 1 hour at rush hour. At 10:00pm, I had traveled about 13 miles and had 10 miles left. I stopped at a gas station to use the bathroom, buy water and snacks, and top off my gas tank. I hit the road again and traveled about a half mile in 2 hours.
I rounded a corner and quickly realized the slow pace was because of a steep icy hill up ahead. Cars were sliding down backward and hitting other cars that had been abandoned on the side of the road. Emergency vehicles were assisting cars up the hill as best they could and individuals were pushing cars up the hill. There was an auto repair shop at the base of the hill where lots of people had parked and abandoned their cars. I decided to pull in there to wait and reassess rather than attempt the uphill, where the was the potential of accidents and sliding down the ice. Plus, even if I made it up that hill there were more hills and bridges to come on my route. It wouldn’t be easy. I waited about an hour, talking about my options with my husband (who was in Florida traveling for work) and family. I was about 8 miles from home.
I knew exactly what I wanted to do – I was warm. I had food and water. I didn’t need to get out of the car. I decided to stay put and sleep in the car. I would just leave the car on all night and try to get a few naps. I had to argue that my father-in-law didn’t need to trek 7.8 miles in the snow just to come sit with me. He really wanted to come, but I assured everyone I was totally fine. Warmth, water, food.
I slept on and off for about 4 hours. I woke up at 5 and watched a car drive out of the parking lot, over a thick sheet of ice, sliding around and spinning his wheels. I watched where his wheels went and decided it was do-able if I could follow his tread marks. It was really scary. I made it to the main road, where the crews had poured salt and gravel. I made it, slowly, over a bridge and up 2 more hills. It took me over an hour to go 7.8 miles. I made it safely home, 18 hours later, at 7am.
Thank you to all my sweet friends and family who texted, called, and tweeted to check on me. I appreciate your concern so very much! I’m thankful I made it home as quickly as I did.
Photos via Atlanta Journal Constitution
PS – It’s been quite a couple of months for The Curtis Casa – new job, moving, holidays, house-hunting, traveling, and now this. I’m exhausted! Who wants to cheers a big glass of wine with me?!