First of all, the story about the above photo snapped on my wife’s I-Phone through our back window…
Here we were, stuck in our frozen home this morning, when my wife noticed a large semi-truck pulling a tanker…of MILK……… that was stuck on the hill behind our home. The milk truck was clearly not making any progress up our frozen mountain, so he decided to cut his losses and back down the hill……right down the middle of the highway………..for about 3/4 of a mile before he disappeared out of sight. For all I know, that truck is in Arkansas by now and is still inching along going backwards. Anyway…. We then noticed that our huge mountain of a hill, which I have since renamed “Runaway Bay Summit Elev. 71″, was obviously quite icy for all vehicles trying to climb the mountain, which just happens to bottom out at the corner of my back yard.
Enter the Ford Expedition in the above photo. He decided that his big SUV could tackle “Runaway Bay Summit Elev 71″, so he started out from the highway just outside my son’s bedroom and by the time the wife and I had moved to our back room, there he was spinning his wheels, stuck on the icy inclines of this massive Himalayan Peak that towers over our back yard. He tried going forward, sideways, backwards, upside down, on his side, but all to no avail. He was floundering around in the road like a dying fish, at which point the Good Samaritan in the white pickup showed up. He obviously had 9-wheel drive on his 4-wheeled truck, so he had no problem motoring up the hill to where he stopped right next to the floundering Expedition. Our Good Samaritan got out and tried to give instructions to the frazzled pilot of the Expedition and as this was going on, a small line of cars was now backed up at the bottom of the hill, impatiently waiting their own turns to tackle the beast.
Enter the pickup pulling the small trailer. He got impatient, pulled out of line, started up the hill, sure that his 4-wheel drive pickup pulling an 0-wheeled drive trailer would have no problem getting up our towering mountain pass.
Then, the beast struck. Idiot pickup pulling trailer dude made it just past frazzled Expedition pilot and Good Samaritan….and then the icy gods of gravity took over….and he too lost it. Soon, the Good Samaritan stood in the middle of our icy highway and watched as idiot drivers on both sides of him tried to spin their ways out of their little pickles of situations.
Long story short……
Five minutes after that photo was snapped……. Good Samaritan was back in his truck and driving onwards, while Expedition Pilot had successfully piloted his vehicle into an unplanned collision with the icy ditch on one side of the road, while the truck pulling the trailer did a beautiful little backwards slide with a half-twist which ended up depositing him and trailer into the ditch on the opposite side of the road.
This had to be unnerving to see for the cars and trucks now backed up waiting in line for their turn.
It made damn good entertainment for the family and I. We spent the whole morning glued to the windows instead of the TV!
Meanwhile, some folks were deciding that they were not going to even attempt tackling the beast. They decided to turn around in the intersection near our driveway, or they decided to take the side street across the road from us. One little sedan that probably weighed little more than a trash can, spent about 20 minutes, spinning in place, on flat ground, unable to even move, after trying for the side road. A blue pickup came along, stopped for some reason right in the middle of the side road, and then was a goner. He too was spinning his wheels, all FOUR of them, and was going nowhere. Now, the “Son of the Beast” was wreaking havoc on the highways!! It wasn’t the huge mountain pass, it was now the flat ground that was claiming victims! Chaos was about to ensue!
By now, we have spun out and stranded vehicles everywhere, not 30 yards from our home. All these people are trapped in their vehicles, in 15 degree temps, or are standing alongside their vehicles, as my family and I are standing in our underwear and nightclothes in our back window just a short distance away. Ain’t America great!
Anyway, by now, a crowd of about 6 men are standing in the highway, staring at the stranded vehicles and trucks, apparently thinking that the power of standing and staring will somehow melt the ice and free the vehicles.
Meanwhile, in line, is a huge semi truck hauling BREAD! Yes, BREAD!! Nothing stops the Bread Trucks!!!
This bread truck had CHAINS on his rig!! Snow CHAINS!! We all know that CHAINS virtually guarantee successful scaling of icy mountains of any size, so Mr. Bread Truck with Chains decides he is going to pull out of line and tackle the beast without waiting his turn. Sorry, but we were all so excited about this unfolding action drama that we neglected to get photos of the Bread Truck for you. Anyway…
Mr. Bread Truck with Chains dude pulls out of line and starts up the hill, slow and steady………
He passes the masses of men and stranded vehicles……. we dash across the house to the back room to watch his progress….
and sure enough….
The beast got him!
Soon, Mr. Bread Truck with Chains is inching his way backwards down the beast….a defeated man……..
He was lucky though. The nephew of the Beast, better known as THE DITCH, had not claimed his bread truck…so at least he was still upright on the highway.
Mr. Bread Truck continued backing up…….past all the waiting vehicles……..all the way down the highway…..we presumed on his way to Arkansas with the Milk Truck.
We continued watching the Keystone Cops outside the window as they tried to figure out how to get out of the ditch. One helpful citizen with a pickup decided that attaching a ROPE to the pickup and trailer would successfully pull them out of the icy ditch………but the helpful citizen only managed to spin his own tires and break his rope three times as he tried to pull the truck and trailer from the ditch. The group stands around trying to figure out their other options. Then……….
A roar from down the street!! Yes, a roar!!
We look down the highway and we see Bread Truck Semi with Chains Dude……… chugging down the highway….diesel smoke pouring into the air…..in the opposite lane of traffic……… making a B-line right for the BEAST!!
He flew past those bystanders at probably 40 mph…….and barreled up the hill. And yes, the idiot made it. Endangering about a half-dozen people standing on the highway, along with people still sitting in their stranded vehicles, this idiot didn’t care a lick about anyone else on the road, and took a long running start at the hill.
If there is a Divine God of Trucking………. I hope he made the summit, rounded the curve at the top, and then went right off into the first ditch on the downslope on the other side of town. I will get great joy if I hear of a Bread Truck stuck in the ditch….for the next 3-4 days……here in our town.
To wrap things up.
Things are a nightmare in our county of North Texas. We have been below freezing since Thursday. All of the roads are a nightmare. The pipes froze and burst at the gas station/store just down the street from us. Police asked businesses to close early today so that people would not be out on the highways. We are not getting above freezing until Monday. Tonight, we have a chance of ICE FOG which may add another icy glaze onto our 5 inches of ice on the highways. DFW Airport has cancelled over 2,000 flights in the past two days. A news crew on TV said that 3,000 people slept in the terminal last night, and showed 1,000 people waiting in line at the ticket counter. On Interstate 35 north of Fort Worth, people were stranded for over 20 hours without moving. None of this ice is melting anytime soon.
Our tour operator for our trip to New York City on Monday Morning said “Everything is still a go!”
Me, I have visions of my In-Laws taking 5-6 hours to drive from their home to our house tomorrow, then the four of us taking 5-6 hours to crawl down to the Airport area to our hotel. I then have visions of us waking up at 2am on Monday morning, snaking our way across icy roads to the airport, parking, and then walking in, only to see the 1,000 people still standing in line at the ticket counter. We can argue that our flight is supposed to leave in just a few hours all we want, but agents are telling us….”Sorry…get in line with everyone else……..these people have been standing here for days……….”
And that’s what we do……..
The first three days of our New York City Guided Vacation are spent waiting in line at the ticket counter at DFW Airport.
Another update tomorrow……….
PS…….. The pool survived the night! No arctic flood YET……….knock on wood!