The best and the worst

We went to the cities for the weekend–I had a MN State Master Gardener Advisory Board meeting at the Arboretum on Friday, so Trevor came along with me and we made a fun weekend out of it. We went down there on Thursday after work and stayed with some friends–we had a great time on Friday and Saturday and the MG board meeting was wonderful–I’m going to do a post about it later this week.


Then we left for home about 10:15 yesterday morning. We’d looked up the road report and it looked like the roads all the way home were ok but not great. We thought, well, not unusual for January in Minnesota, we’re used to not great driving.

We had snow blowing over the interstate the first couple of hours, nothing too bad, and it wasn’t slippery, so we just kept going.

Then, after we passed Alexandria (with still 100 miles to go), it got quite a bit worse. Occasional whiteouts made it impossible to go much over 40. But, we got in a little convoy with some other cautious people (with trucks and semis blasting by us on the left) and we kept going (at that point there weren’t a lot of other options, and it still wasn’t terrible–just slow).

It improved a bit, so we figured we wouldn’t stop–we’d just keep going. Right after we passed Fergus Falls (and really our last chance to stop and have anyplace to stay) it got really bad. We were laughing at our GPS–it gives us our time of arrival, and the time just kept getting further and further away, like some nightmare where you can never reach the end of the hallway.

Then, right after passing the Sabin exit, about 15 miles from home, traffic stopped completely. There was a semi-truck accident blocking both lanes.

So we sat. And we sat. And we wondered if we’d be out there all night. And the snow was actually accumulating between the cars and trucks stopped on the interstate. The visibility was so bad we couldn’t even see if anything was being done about the blockage–we just had to sit and wait.

About an hour later, a highway patrolman came and knocked on our window and said that they were having people back up and take the turnaround onto the interstate going back the opposite direction, because there was also a semi accident behind us.

So, we got back on the interstate going the other way, and took the Sabin-Downer exit.

At this point we could see the road only about a foot in front of our bumper, but what else could we do? We had to press on. Either that, or spend the night in our car at the side of the road.

Also, at this point, since all the major highways were closed, it was a bit problematic as to how we would actually get home.  But, with some truly scary moments (I’ve honestly never been more scared in my entire life), we finally made it to Sabin and onto an old highway that we knew would take us right into Moorhead.

When we left Minneapolis our GPS said we’d be home at 2:15. We finally made it home, safe and sound (if a bit traumatized), at 5:45. :)

Moorhead has never looked so good.

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5 Responses to The best and the worst

  1. Sheri says:

    Which is EXACTLY why I tell my children to not let the gas tank go to E and beep before they fill up – but they don’t listen.

    • Sandi says:

      That’s no kidding–as we were sitting there, not moving, I kept thinking thank GOD we have a half a tank of gas left!

      • Molly says:

        Exactly! And to have a blizzard box with you at all times. :)

        • Sandi says:

          You are SO right–we were really unprepared. I mean, we had luggage with us so it’s not as if we didn’t have enough warm clothes or anything, but I was feeling like such an idiot for getting caught out there completely unprepared. I’ve been “scared straight” and am never going to let it happen again! :) I’ve lived here my whole life and I should know better.

          • Molly says:

            Been there, done that myself. Its been years since I lived in Wadena, but being prepared for blizzards is one thing that was drilled into me – besides tornadoes. 😉

            About 20 years ago, my hubby and I had to go to Wenatchee, WA from Moses Lake, WA for a Drs. appt. Anyway, it was the middle of winter. Usually our winters are really mild, so we didn’t worry about it. Got over there no problem, but coming back a huge blizzard hit. We ended up staying in a motel for the night about 20 miles from home. Got 3 feet of snow that night – unheard of for here! The only thing I could think of when we were in the car was I need a candle and a empty tin can. ggg

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