I got back home in one piece tonight, no thanks to our surprise snow and ice. Every single foot of road I traveled was covered in black ice. All of it. I went down hills that should have sent me screaming. I chugged up hills that had SUVs turning around left and right. I watched a lot of brake lights, but I made it. And that’s what counts.
To get here, I took Jones Franklin to Hillsborough to Faircloth to Wade Avenue. Wade moved pretty smoothly until I got to Capital, which was brakelight-city. I doubled back to Peace and then Glenwood, and headed north from there. Then I got on Anderson Drive, which became another parking lot, so I jumped onto a very dangerous White Oak Road to get me to Lassiter Mill. That worked out okay, and I soon found myself at the Six Forks intersection.
Crossing over the Beltline near the mall, I glanced down at the parking lot below me. There were wrecker lights blazing and stopped traffic. I was glad to be above the fray. I was 90 minutes into my adventure, but it was far from over.
I made my way through the North Hills subdivision, which was the scariest stretch by far. Dartmouth is very hilly to begin with, with lousy sightlines. Every hill was solid black ice. As I paused at the top of one hill, the car ahead tucked itself to the side, wanting a front-row seat to my certain doom. With parked cars on either side of me, I gripped the steering wheel, pumped the brakes, and essentially sledded through there with my breath held. Fortunately, I came through just fine.
Dartmouth led me to Hardimont, and then eventually to Pacific Avenue and Old Wake Forest Road, but not before crossing Falls of the Neuse, which was at a total standstill. Traffic was stopped on Old Wake Forest, so I took a moment to check in with Kelly. After twenty minutes of going nowhere, I did a U-turn back to North Market Drive and on back to New Hope Church Road, with the goal of taking Atlantic north.
New Hope and Atlantic had a cop directing traffic, so things went smoothly there. Behind me was an accident in front of Wal-Mart. Folks were wiping out everywhere.
Ah, Atlantic, part of my normal commute. Once on Atlantic, I moved along just long enough to make me believe I was home free. I was wrong, though, and stopped for 20 minutes in one place. Finally, things kicked into gear and I was going a whopping 20 miles per hour by the time I crossed Spring Forest.
Then traffic stopped again. A high slope on Atlantic was covered in ice and cars were taking no chances. I inched along at 2 MPH until reaching the top of the hill. Unlike the other drivers, I waited until the guy in front of me was safely out of the way. Then I eased down the hill with no trouble at all.
Atlantic turned into Litchford. I watched the van in front of me try to stop for the light at Harps Mill. He skidded into the right curb, smacking his front tire pretty hard into the concrete. No real damage to him, but I got even more careful at that point.
Up Litchford and into Durant Trails, my usual shortcut. My usual route on Hiking trail looked too treacherous, so I took a left onto Cub. Cub is a short hill down followed by a long straight hill up. Cars in front of me were turning around and coming back my way, but I had momentum. I chugged right past the SUVs and successfully make it to Durant. Whew!
I was thinking I was home free, but traffic for Capital backed up on Durant, blocking my neighborhood. I called Kelly when I was 100 yards away from the entrance and moving like a snail.
Down another slick hill before making a left turn onto Leslishire. By the time I got to Hobhouse, I was breathing easier again, though you can be damn sure I was extra careful coming up those steps and into the house!
Total time: three hours, fifteen minutes. I can’t complain, though, considering my coworker spent five hours, thirty minutes driving home.
Now its time for dinner, a drink, and hopefully sleep. Tomorrow I work from home!