On Tuesday 02/04/14 The Fireman realized that I was not working again until 02/13 and since he is still home recovering from shoulder surgery and have not visited the Idaho folks in a while, we decided now would be a perfect time to do so. The whole time we are well aware that a snow storm is heading towards Boston. The snow is not suppose to hit until 0800 and our flight is to leave around 0515. At 1800 The Fireman goes online and books two round trips from BOS to SLC with a layover in DFW.
A few days prior to this I receive a call from Gram that she wanted to exchange her smart Droid phone for a stupid one, her words. So we go into Focal Point Communications in Seabrook, NH to see if they have an older phone hanging around that we can purchase. They did have a flip phone that would have done the job if only it wasn’t so masculine (again her words)! The technician then looked around and found another flip model that was sleeker and blue. She is quite happy with it and gives us her other phone. She calls us a few days after that and would like the phone to give to my cousin Kevin. Sure it was a free phone with the purchase of an additional plane so who cares?
We swung by Gram’s and she was sure that we would be snowed out. Even going so far as to say, “Now you are going to make me say I told you so”. To which I replied, “And you can tell it to me when I call you from Idaho”!
By now everyone knows about the Great Atlanta Snow Debacle of 2014. When I first heard about it, I immediately went on the web to see the details. Thinking that they must of been hit by a pretty intense winter storm. Getting dumped on with a foot or more. So when I read that they received 2 1/2″ I was confident that the inches part was a typo. Then I read a couple more articles and find that the inches were what they got. Now in Massachusetts we get snow and at times lots. I don’t even bother to shovel if its under five inches and I often just sweep it. Driving in 2 1/2″ is not even a concern and certainly does not create a traffic jam so bad that cars run out of gas and people then are forced to abandon them on the highways. Or children are trapped in their schools.
Here’s where things went wrong: On Tuesday, January 28, 2014, at 1:30 in the afternoon, in response to the sparkle of several snowflakes in the air above Atlanta, virtually the entire adult population of America’s ninth most populous metro area stood up, left their workplaces, got into their cars, and created a traffic deadlock of legendary proportions.
courtesy of Melissa Fay Greene
I do acknowledge the fact that Georgia is not experienced in dealing with snow and therefore would have problems when it came to maneuvering a vehicle in it. But, to react to this situation in the manner that they did is unfathomable to me. Oh don’t get me wrong, we wipe out grocery stores of bread and milk when a storm hits with the best of them. But honestly to us here in New England 3″ of snow is nothing more than a dusting.
We arrived at Logan at 0415, yep that’s right in the am! The snow had not started yet but you could feel it in the air. We get up to the counter and they have no seats for us. They had overbooked the flight! Yeah take our money, get us to get up at a time that should be illegal and no have seats for us. Finally we were able to get on the plane, but we weren’t able to sit together (I got to sit a the emergency doors). By the time we were able load and get settled the snow had come in. The storm was heavy, wet and fast. In the time it took us to be fully loaded (not a seat to spare) there was about three inches accumulated and all the other flights had been cancelled. It took another forty minutes to both de-ice the plane and plow the runway. We take off with no incidence, hear that Atlanta?
We missed our connecting flight at Dallas Fort Worth (DFW), Texas. They had another flight going into Salt Lake City (SLC), Utah in two hours. They were fully booked and had to entice people to give up their seats ($500 voucher for a flight, food credits and an upgrade on the next flight). We were able to get on and once again not sit with one another. We arrive and The Fireman’s father picked us up and drove us to Burley, Idaho (The Fireman’s home town). I did call Gram and let her know that the snow can’t keep us down!
His mother lives in Bellvue, Idaho (near Sun Valley) about 90 miles from Burley and we drove up in a snow storm. Now I was fully expecting a good snow removal system in place here in Idaho. Why wouldn’t I from a state that gets snow. Alas, I was very very wrong! Apparently many towns have sold their snow removal vehicles. It seems that in recent years they have not had very much snow. This makes no sense to me! I don’t use my fire extinguisher everyday but I sure want it to be there when I need it! In Salisbury on the other hand, has the best plowing in the surrounding MA/NH towns. I often use a Dunkin Donuts’ commercial about plows sitting at a Dunks just waiting for snow to fall. On a side note, as I sit here in Idaho wishing for a large Caramel Swirl ice, cream only… I can’t have one (no Dunks around) but when we were in Nassua, Bahamas I could get one! I also found Pumpkin Spice bags being sold at the local Wal Mart. You can’t get it at home as it is considered a Autumnal seasonal flavor. Don’t worry Calandra I bought you a bag too!
We start making the drive up and back and in all those miles, we saw a total of four plows! At home, plows travel in packs at least three in number. We even had the Plow Fairy do our driveway while we were gone. So in this area of Idaho they were in the same boat as Atlanta, but with one major difference, they can drive in the snow! Sure we saw a SUV off the road (just because you have all-wheel-drive does not mean you won’t slide, it means you probably can drive out of the situation), a big rig had missed an exit and was sitting in the median and when we turned into a truck stop we sort of spun into it. Driving in a snow/icy situation for those of the Southern persuasion… drive like you would on wet leaves.
Rules to driving in the snow:
- Slow down – Reduce your normal traveling speed.
- Never slam your brakes – pump the brakes if you don’t have Anti-locking Braking System (ABS) if you do then you firmly press the brakes.
- Take your foot off the gas – In most cases your vehicle will stop spinning when you are not providing it with power.
- Turn into the spin – moving the tires in the direction of the spin slows the momentum.