Thursday, December 12, 2013

Winter Rules The Road

I have been driving I-81 for over 21 years.  I have seen people do some goofy stuff but tonight's trip home was probably the best.... ever.  I was heading North on 81 and I could see that the driving conditions were going to deteriorate quickly, as they usually do this time of year.  I call the section of 81 from the Rt. 342 exit to the Theresa/LaFargeville exit the devils triangle.  There was just enough snow in the air and on the ground to make visibility limited and road conditions slippery.

I made sure all my lights were on and then slowed down as the blowing snow made it difficult to see ahead. I wanted to be able to see ahead so that I could react and I wanted to be seen by any vehicles coming up behind me.  When I had to slow down to 45 mph I turned on my four-way flashers.

The traffic started to back up, and that is when I met Mr. Jeep Wrangler.  He was a bad a$$ with his over sized tires. I got nervous when he started goosing the gas pedal..... he probably thought this is cool, fish tailing going 50 in the middle of a long line of cautious/nervous drivers.  He was not happy with the swerves so he revved up the engine even more.

The laws of physics took over and the next thing I saw was Mr Jeep recovering from a near 180° swerve, the momentum carried his vehicle into the breakdown lane and partially off the shoulder.  I chuckled to my self..... amateur..... then I thought.... this guy could have caused quite the pile up..... maybe injuries or even worse.... fatalities.  I stopped chuckling and was thankful that the maniac was off the road.  Hopefully Mr. Jeep was using this time to reflect on his reckless behavior.  Personally I was hoping he was suffering from the shakes and a severe case of the sweats or even the wets.

The story is not over.... nope, far from it.  As I continued my travels, The traffic backed up and became more congested.  I found myself without a safe distance  between the car in front of me and the one behind me.  The person behind me kept speeding up, almost on my bumper.  I'll be damned..... if it wasn't Mr. Jeep!  God protects drunks, babies and evidently idiots.  He continued to follow me, closely, for the next several miles.  We all passed the Theresa/LaFargeville exit and just as I expected, the weather cleared and the traffic picked up speed.  I kept driving a conservative 50mph because I knew that there was going to be some drifting snow up ahead.  Mr. Jeep tried to pass me but I could hear his over sized tires losing traction and then he would slow down and drift off behind me.  This went on till the last rest stop before the Alex Bay exit.

I could hear the power of Mr. Jeeps engine as he pushed the gas pedal to the floor.  He was fish tailing as he started to pass me.  We were side by side, so I slowed down to let him get ahead of me and go on his way. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see that he was flipping me the bird.  I countered that rude gesture with the sign of the cross..... and all of a sudden Mr. Jeep was gone.... flying down the embankment into the median.... swerving and spinning. As I watched him in my side view mirror, he was making a feeble attempt to drive back up the embankment, sinking deeper into the tall grass and snow. He was now TOAST.... and I laughed and cheered.

I made it home safe and sound and it only took me an extra 17 minutes.  I am now drinking a glass of wine while Mr. Jeep is waiting.... for the tow truck and a bill for that service.  Winter Rules The Road.... slow down and pace yourself......

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