flarenut (flarenut) wrote,

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Winter Driving

On an unplowed highway. At 417 in the morning. With just enough traffic that you can't go slowly, but not enough so you can deduce road conditions from the car ahead of you. Do not like.

I took J and C an B to the airport to catch a 6AM flight to see their grandmothers. Can't rightly say it was a white-knuckle trip because I've learned that gripping the steering wheel too hard pretty quickly loses the feeling in the last two fingers of my right hand (sequelae of an old dance injury). But the rest of me was not relaxed. Boys were chatting/arguing in the back seat about everything from which stuffed toy B would lend C to whether winter weather in Louisiana was warmer than summer weather in Vermont, I was in continual "So is this dark strip I'm aligning my tires with pavement or black ice?" mode. (Mostly pavement, except by the stoplight  at the intersection of Industrial Drive and Rt 2.)

A few miles from our exit we came upon what turned out to be a couple of plow trucks in loose formation, driving very slowly.  They sported very bright yellow blinkers, not synchronized, which was seriously disorienting , because my eyes kept trying to reconstruct the positions and outlines of the trucks from the blinkers, and assigning any given blink to a particular truck did not work. (Pro tip: that slightly smaller blinker that looks like it might be an escort vehicle behind the truck is attached to the upper right wing of the plow.)

On the way back I went by state road. The gas/coffee station I'd been counting on just past the south burlington box-store district wasn't open at 5 on a sunday morning, alas. And the only other vehicles on the road were plows. I say "road" advisedly, because new drifts and old plow berms had consumed the shoulders, but not in even bites from both sides. So I'd be steering a course on the right half of the cleared area and suddenly see a double yellow line emerge from the snow on my passenger side. Or hear a rumble from really old frozen slush. A few times on the wide flat areas I'd have to slow down and ask myself seriously "Where the $#% is the %$@#%ing road anyway." Not helping: the fact that the state road sometimes meanders next to the (also meandering) highway, so that headlights appearing to your left may be several hundred yards offset from you, or may suddenly switch to your right.

Eh. About 45 minutes going, hour and a half coming back. Came home to a text from J that they'd been bumped to a flight through boston for several hundred dollars each, crawled back into bed with the cat, slept till the time we normally wake up on weekends.

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