Monday, February 11, 2008

Missouri’s weather was miserable

From The Crawfords in AZ Blog Photos

First a question, why does Missouri label their highways/state roads with letter designations like “A” or “HH”?

So I start out early this morning knowing it was going to be “interesting” with overcast skies, the temperature was only 13 degrees, and there were Winter Weather Advisories posted for the entire Missouri leg of the drive. According to the radar, freezing rain and sleet was already falling on Springfield, MO.

So I get out of St. Louis without incident and settled in for the drive. At about Bourbon, ice pellets began to fall and swirl along the road. I will say that the Missouri road crews know how to respond to this stuff, they were out in force already. Then at Rolla, I was brought to full attention when the ice pellets turned into freezing rain and instantly coated my windshield in ice. I managed to get most of the windshield cleared enough to drive by turning up the defrosters to full blast, but the windshield wipers were only partially effective and were icing up. Next up was an upside down horse trailer on the side of the road, with a poor horse tied off to it grazing as the driver was being tended to by emergency services.

Things are getting bad. The windshield is getting bad. The freezing rain/sleet is coming down harder. However, when I was packing, I was fortunate enough to have left an ice scraper in the trunk of the car (who needs them in AZ?) and had left it where I could get to it (that was luck). So I started doing what the truckers were doing, pulling off I-44 every hour or so to scrap ice. I finally get to Springfield and this is where I had the “what am I doing?” moment. It is 30 degrees now, everything is coated in ice from the storm, it is pouring freezing rain, and now there is thunder and lightning. Insert colorful metaphor here.

About an hour later, I stopped as things were letting up (coincidently it was Chesapeake) for the final scrapping and knocked off the ice from the front of the car. This casing of ice was at least a quarter inch think. When I got to Oklahoma, it was still a freezing drizzle, but the glaze it left on the car went away within an hour. The rain even stopped as I approached Oklahoma City and the temperature managed to get to 35 degrees.

They say getting there is half the fun and I have to admit, I actually had fun driving through the ice in Missouri - I was prepared for it, no one got hurt, and I do not get to challenge my driving skills like that very often. However, the hotel I am in is great and I am going to relax a bit in the hot tub - I have earned it.

Tomorrow’s forecast is much better as I head west down I-40.

Trip Facts
Started: Glen Carbon, IL
Finished: Yukon, OK
States Traveled Through: Missouri
Miles Driven: 538
Tolls: $9.00
Drive Time: 6:15am to 3:45pm (9.5 hours)

Overall Facts
Total Miles Driven: 1472
Miles Remaining: 935 (according to Google)

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