Monday, January 01, 2007

Safe Passage

I've been out of town for Christmas, and we just got back home last night at about 1:15 am. The trip back from Wyoming was uneventful, but not without stress. If you've been paying attention to the Weather Channel, you should know that there were no good routes from Wyoming to Texas the past few days. We left Casper, WY around 11:00 am MST on Saturday morning. My hope was to make it to Salina, KS that night, but alas, it was not to be. We drove into some wintry weather in Nebraska. But for the snow & ice, we wouldn't have even gone through Nebraska. but Interstate 70 was closed from Denver to over the Kansas state line.

We wound up having to abandon the goal of Salina fairly quickly. My objective kept moving . . . York, NE . . . Kearney, NE . . . and finally, get off the highway intact and get a motel room. We exited at Cozad, NE, and after seeing the "No Vancancy" sign on the door of the Motel 6, I drove down to the Circle S Motel. I could see the chart with the rooms on it as I stood in line and could see that we should be okay. As it turns out, two more folks behind me in line were able to get rooms.

On Sunday, we decided to wait for the sun to come out to give an opportunity for the ice and snow to melt some and give the state a chance to clear the Interstate. We drove off from Cozad at 11:20 am. From Cozad to York, the road was rough, but nothing too terrible, but apparently the night before it had been really bad. In the first 14 miles from the Cozad exit, 14 vehicles had gone off the road the night before. In all before we turned south at York, we saw about 30 cars, SUV's, & 18-wheelers in the ditch or median.

After turning onto US 81, things seemed like they might be fairly good. That is they seemed that way until we hit the Kansas state line. It appeared that very little if anything at all was done by the Kansas Highway Department to clear the highway. I drove on ice & snow almost the entire way to Salina. My neck, shoulders, arms, and hands were all sore from the tension of that trek.

From Salina to home, the roads were finally clear and dry. The total road time over the two days amounted to 22 hours. For such a long and difficult trip, my girls did really well, even when their daddy was growling at them.

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