Saturday, November 26, 2011

My passage through the Midwest Blizzard

Day 4  

 I woke up to the shrill high pitched sound of the wind blowing fiercely against my hotel room window. It took me a second to gather where I was, as reality settled in separating dream from existence; this wasnt the Caribbean, I was not soakin in rays, I was in the middle of Arkanas, and--- from all outside appearances, as I rifled open the blinds; in the middle of a storm as well. Due to a night of plush elegance my hygiene was vastly improved, the beard gone I no longer worried about scaring anyone in public. I   caught myself hurrying to pack out of my room before before realizing hurrying wasn't helping, I wasn't beating anything, the storm was here. Still I did'nt care there was always need for speed even if I wasn't entirely sure why. I shoved several egg and sausage waffle burrito's down  and made my way outside, I immediately slid across the icy surface, luggage in tote, with a quck windmill-like flourish of my off hand, I thought dang, this is gonna be great. I saw the weather channel man in the lobby mentioning inclement weather with snowy conditons throughout the midwest. This was rather alarming and I didnt delay.

         I got it on the freeway and was immediately aware of the extent of the wintry conditions. The passing lane was covered in snow isolating that option. I was behind  a car plowing through the thin sheet of snow and hoping he wouldn't exit so I wouldn't be the pilot car leading the barrage of cars behind me. As soon as it merged onto an exit my shield left me. Right then a semi-truck merged on, blowing snow into my windshield, I followed behind  with limited visibility.  The semi came to an abrupt stop and instead of breaking I shifted way down to avoid becoming a toboggan. I found myself sliding anyway like a sled and decided I didn't like it. I was sideways in the road the front end planted firmly in a snow drift, I hit reverse and gunned it out. I glanced in my rear view mirror to find a car in a ditch sideways a few yards back. I pulled off the next exit, popped the trunk and reached for the chains. I had a helluva time putting them on, the directions said to drape them over the wheel but I forwent that procedure and drove over them. I had no gloves, which is never ideal for Arctic conditions. I was prostrate in front of the car reaching around bear-hugging the tire, too snug, my hands kept losing feeling. I kept running back in, heating my hands on the vents then running back and sliding down again, a few times of this and I was starting to get pissed, I kept looking for a good Samaritan to drop by, but I was in Oklahoma and Okies don't even know how to drive in the snow, regardless put chains on. Heck, Americas Tires didn't even sell chains in this state! A few stopped as they drove by and I said I was figuring out the chain situation. I didnt ask for help but I wasn't gonna turn it down either. They just said alright best of luck, yeah thanks, I hope you skid out on the road, I mean thanks, same to you.  I went to the back trunk again, foraged around for wool socks to put on my hands so I could have this handy thing called sensation when I was tightening the chains. The mittens didnt help the grip but I soon got one tire all hooked up. I hoped it wasn't installed bass ackwards as I went for the other. I kept stopping and runnin back inside, reading the directions and warmin the hands. A few times repeating this procedure and I got them both on and was back cruisin the highway at a whoppin 30 mph. All I could hear was the cluck-a-lank of the cahins and the dull roar of the packed hunks of snow I was rollin over as I sped on toward  Oke city.

         I stopped for gas twice, one station was out, on both stops I tightened the chains. At the fist stop I heard from some mammoth of a man with an intense beard that the reason for this weather was the frequency of FM stations were being taken by more cable stations now which puts turbalence into the air causing more snow, I  just smiled and said yeah-yeah sounds crazy. Never heard of that. Inside I was thinking he may have had a loose connection with the brain, a few neurotransmitters damaged or never made it across the synapse, that, or too much Bill Nye. I had alot to think about on this trip as I was alone so obscure thoughts like these were common. About an hour outside Oklahoma City it cleared up and I was still proceeding at a snails pace, creeping and chugga-linkin along.  Now the roads were better, my chains were beginning to sound obnoxious and people were passing. At the nearest rest stop I unwittingly parked in front of 2 semis, I was trying to un-chain my car when an angry semi driver who was stuck and wanted space walked around,  a vicious ass-chewing ensued, I was on the receiving end and allowed to say little. I was busy, but I yelled parking is dead ahead, right here, more cuss words ensued the snow was piled up and I had lil choice, apparently his truck was still stuck  because I was blocking him. He went on a profanity laced tirade, I was impressed, I asked him if he would like to help remove my chains so you can leave faster, apparently that touched the wrong button because he was not gonna help. It took me a bit longer than I thought, I wrapped a wire around a wheel axle and was soon aggressively ripping at it all while the angry semi driver looked on, I figure he was becoming more and more impressed with every hearty heave. I finally got it off, and said hey sir "you have a better day, stay warm, its cold out here". He yelled something else back about a candy ass as we walked toward me. I didn't bother with the rest. threw in the chains and hit the accelerator like a bat outta hell.

Outside Oke city was clear sailing, Once in town I located a Starbucks there and I remember telling someone I was gonna make it to Amarillo, but that was 4 hours away. I said thanks and I gotta roll, as long as my destination wasn't the side of the freeway  tonight, I'd be good. I had plans of stopping for the night at elk, Oklahoma, but instead breezed on by. I was feeling good, the music was blaring. I was gonna make up for time lost in the blizzard. About an hour outside Amarillo, I was starting to shut down. I realized 2 things, 1. I was tired 2. I hated Texas and every arrogant Texan redneck who tries to brag about how  big and grand it is down here. Its a big, boring wasteland. Whats the point of braggin about having more of a s**** area. These thoughts pre-occupied me as I toar through hell, the upbeat music blaring. I stopped to get gas at a shell, the wind was howling and the dessert uninviting, I realized I needed to put more Texas behind me. A semi outside of Amarillo almost bit it before he woke up and placed her back on the road. I couldn't help laughing. I stopped at a Super 8 for 40 bucks a night, upon entering I picked up an un-healthy odor, the  hallways reeked of smoke and the door in my non-smoking room couldn't even block it all out. I was too tired to re-locate though and just payed the fee and crashed for the night.

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