Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! Also, how bad roads changed our plans...

We are celebrating Thanksgiving here in Idaho for the first time in I don't know how many years. We usually head down to Utah to celebrate it with some of my family, and that was the intention again this year--until the road conditions influenced our decision to just turn around and stay home yesterday. We had heard about the storm that had hit in Utah the night before, (and it had actually gone through our area leaving much snow to shovel in its wake) looked at the weather reports and internet maps, looked outside at the sunny sky, and decided to go for it. We packed up and headed out---and made it about 6 miles from home before we saw the first slide-off.

I asked my husband as we came up on it if he thought the driver needed help. At first he thought there was no one in the car, but I was pretty sure that there was--and out came the driver. From the way it looked, the young man must have just slid off the road right before we approached.

My husband pulled over. By the time I turned around to see how things were going, there was another car pulled over as well. My husband and the other helpful driver got out and attempted to help push the vehicle back on the road. Things were not going too well, and meanwhile many other cars, trucks, you name it, were crawling along side us on the slick roads. There was even a tow truck that paused as it was passing us, but we later figured the driver was checking to see who exactly he was supposed to be helping. He didn't say anything to the men who were working on getting the car back on to the road, but eventually drove on. My husband later said that he thought that one of the reasons that the cars were moving so slowly was that there was a major crash further up the road.

Thankfully, another driver with a truck pulled up to help after a while. He had a tow rope, and my husband came back to let us know what was going on before going back to help push the car back on to the road. Once the tow rope gentleman stopped to help, it wasn't long before they had success. Thanks helpful other driver and tow rope gentleman!!

When my husband got back, we talked about the rate that the traffic was going, the road conditions, and all factors involved, and we decided to take the next exit and turn around and go home. Great disappointment for everyone, but when I called and explained the situation my parents were glad because besides the slick roads the temperatures last night were forecasted to be rather (read: extremely) brutal, and they were worried if we got stuck in any way it would be in really unfortunate circumstances.

We finally got back on the road. Before we got to the next exit (sometimes traveling at about 5 miles an hour) we saw at least one more slide off before we got to what was a serious accident--what looked like a van upside down. I am hoping no one was hurt--there was no ambulance, although there were a number of people who were trying to help. I think we made a good choice in staying home--it was brutally cold last night, and we heard later about one person who took two hours to travel a route that is usually a 30-minute drive. To continue on our journey would have been nerve-wracking and long, long, long, even barring any unforeseen accidents... Turns out the person my husband helped was from Utah, so I hope he made it home alright.

Snow, cold weather, icy conditions with (occasionally) horrendous roads, and trucks equipped with tow ropes--that's Idaho.
Stopping and helping someone who needs a hand--and stopping and helping when there are already people helping---that's America.

We've certainly got a lot to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!! Stay safe, and best wishes to you and yours!


vlad said...

I have two sets v-bar tire chains in truck toolbox.
With v-bars on all four in 4WD I go when others cannot because of mud, snow or ice.

Marie said...

Vlad--Can't ever be too prepared--and I imagine that you probably have helped people/will help people if you have more mobility in the type of snow that we were having. Thanks for sharing the link!

vlad said...

Once in Montana three frustrated youngsters had chains on three, and could not fasten the chain on the outside of the fourth tire. I asked if I might help. One raised his eyebrows and said shortly, "Yeah. If you think you can." I tied a paracord two links away from the fastener, ran it through a link on the other side of the fastener, and signalled the driver to drive so that wheel would rotate. I pulled on the cord and the ends of the chain came together. I left the cord with them. They will need it again.