Wednesday, December 10, 2008

An Icy Road in a Curvy Canyon

Yesterday Desert Boy had a checkup at the doctor's office, 100 miles away (have I written that we live in the remote desert?). I mentioned in a previous post we have been having some cold temperatures and a little snow. Most of the straight highway was snow-free and dry, but then we entered a mountain pass through a curvy canyon. I noticed the road was really icy, so I slowed from 65 mph to 25 mph. It was a good thing, too, because as I came around one curve, I saw a couple semis pulled over to the side of the road and one that had slid across both lanes.

I pulled over to the side and noticed another victim: this pickup truck, which had slid into one of the bigger trucks. Fortunately no one was hurt.

As we sat there, the road department truck came by. You can almost see the bright orange truck through my extremely dirty and cracked windshield.

I tried to get a picture of the driver because he's got a great smile (and I know him), but he told me I had to close my window, so I only got a shot of him spreading sand on the road. The extra traction really helped, and I was able to drive around the stranded truck on the shoulder of the road and continue.

But around the next curve I saw more trouble: two more semis off the road. A state patrol officer and a big tow truck were there trying to sort out the mess.

Desert Boy got to use his new word a lot: "crash."

The big road department truck hadn't been able to negotiate around those trucks, so the road was just a sheet of ice on the other side. Two semis had stopped, and I noticed the drivers were putting on chains.

I never had to put chains on my pickup truck until I moved out West. It's a pain in the butt, and semi trucks have to put on extra chains. I suppose it beats a towing bill.

In case you haven't seen what tire chains look like, here's a photo out my dirty side window. Someday I really should clean my truck windows.

So the moral of this post is be careful driving in icy conditions! They can sneak up on you fast. I carry a safety kit in the back of the truck with blankets, tire chains, cat litter (for extra traction), a tool kit, water, food, and the most important: a book, so I have something to read if I have to wait a long time for help. 


The Incredible Woody said...

That icy road looks brutal!! Glad you travel smart - be safe out there!

Caroline said...

What an adventure! I'm glad that everyone was alright! That ice looked very scary....

I have to check out this blog everyday or I might miss a great adventure.

I love the picture you painted of Desert Boy and his, "crash," word. So sweet!! You make me miss those wonderful todler days....

Have a great day.

Sarah said...

Glad the two of you made it safely!


Annette said...

I don't think I've ever seen so much action in Kings. Glad you guys made it through safely!

A said...

We had our "big snow" out East...the kids were desperately trying to make a snowman out of 1/2" of powder...we are hoping more better later on!

Janille said...

I hate HATE driving on roads like that. Sounds like it got exciting there yesterday!

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