3.2.09

WHEW! What the last 24 hours have brought… AMAZING! I am so worn out! We were only gone less than 24 hours actually but it seems like MUCH longer! I didn’t realize how tired I was until we got home and I just about collapsed in the bed– actually, I DID collapse in the bed for about an hour or so.

And to think, I’d been hoping for this snow!

We left Atlanta headed for Greenville, SC about 3:30 yesterday afternoon. It had started snowing during church yesterday morning, so by 3:30 there was a good bit of snow on the ground, but it’s been so warm lately I hardly thought it would stick to the roads or be a problem.

Just over an hour into our trip, with the snow still falling heavily and I-85 north at a stand still, I knew we were in trouble. Little did we know that the “stand still” was [by one report we heard] 26 miles long!

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Best I can tell there were power lines down on the interstate somewhere south of Commerce. I’m not sure how accurate that information is, but it came from the radio [WSB]. Finally, after waiting for hours on the interstate, sometimes with the car turned off– it was seriously a parking lot, we got off at exit 137. It was dark and the roads were very slippery. We got gas and some food at a QT. It was like an oasis in the night and I was surprised to find that they had fruit and cheeses and crackers and a few healthy options to eat, although I also grabbed a blueberry muffin which was probably not healthy and defiantly not good eats. The restrooms were a little trashed because of the unusually heavy volume of people traffic I’m sure, but they too were nice. That’s really why we had to stop anyhow 😮

We thought about turning back but decided to press on. The southbound lanes of I-85 were moving pretty slow — moving, but slow, as if they too were icy. So it didn’t seem like a good idea to try and turn back– and we’d come so far and would just have to do it all over the next day, so we pressed on…

We had heard on the radio that the interstate could be shut down until the next morning so we decided to bypass the interstate for some back roads through the sleepy little town of Jefferson and try to get back on at Commerce. This is where the GPS on the iPhone REALLY comes in handy– couldn’t have done this without it. It was dangerous and treacherous but the Lord was good in watching out for us as he was the whole time and somehow we made it — about a 17 mile detour I figure. Much of the way there were trees down, power outages and at one point we even drove under some power lines that were partially down with a tree resting on them. The police had not arrived at the scene– I’m sure if they had they would not have let us go there and then I’m really not sure what we would have done. The roads on the detour were especially treacherous, icy, slick, hilly, curvy and deserted. Honestly, I was frightened!

Now, back on I-85 it was snowing heavier than I’d seen it snow all day. It was dark and difficult at best to even make out where the lanes were. Sometimes, there were no lanes, just a path where the cars in front of you had driven. It was somewhat hit and miss as far at the condition of the highway. You’d be riding along and things would be somewhat ok and then the next thing you know you were trudging through think icy slush and/or hard packed ice. There were big trucks on the highway as well which always makes me uneasy but especially under these conditions. We saw several wrecks and many abandoned vehicles on the sides of the roads. Snow plows were on the south bound side and we passed salt trucks on the north bound.

And to think, I had wished so hard for this snow!

What would normally have been a 3-hour trip took almost 8. We could of been in Daytona by now if we’d just gone south instead of north! We arrived on campus to see a snow plow leaving.  It continued to snow heavily as it had all day and night. I read reports that said as much as 8 inches of snow in some parts of SC. BTW, classes were delayed until 1:00 p.m. today.

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This photo was taken on campus at BJU when we dropped BIGGER Tom off at about 11:00 p.m. Sunday night. As you can see, the snow continues to fall.

After dropping him off we had to find a hotel and by that time the secondary roads were nearly impassable. No way at all to see the lanes– there were no “lanes” just a path through the snow at best. Curbs, medians and the like were nearly impossible to see. Some traffic lights were out, some just flashing. Salt trucks and snow plows were out– and us. There was hardly any other cars on the road.

Fortunately, my bff said just before we left that maybe we should pack a few things, so I threw a few toiletries in a bag. Had I not I would have really been in trouble with no contact solution or case.

We stayed at the very nice Drury Inn at I-85  & Woodruff Road– another oasis in the night! I highly recommend it! I was totally prepared to get there and they tell us that there was “no room in the inn” or charge us some unbelievable price, but that didn’t happen. I was pleasantly surprised! The highlight of a long and stressful day.

We left the hotel this morning about 10:00. Still the conditions were bad until we reached the state line. The traffic going south bound must of been a parking lot too at some point last night. We saw several snowmen that people had built along the way in the median. LOL!

I PRAISE GOD for a safe trip up and back. Much different than last Thursday’s up and back which too was safe– but different.

I think some day this is one of those things we will look back on and say, “That was really stupid but I’m glad God protected us!”

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