My plans for the holidays includes driving to see my parents in eastern Oklahoma, with my brother and his girlfriend and a married couple whom I'll call my adopted brother and sister. (He is one of my brother's best and oldest friends, so he grew up with our family and when he got married, his wife was adopted in too.) The group was five people and two dogs, so we took two cars. We took into account the unpredictability of the weather and took a Toyota Forerunner and a Subaru Impreza. We're really glad we did because just north of Wichita, KS, we started encountering roads (the interstate, in fact) with packed snow. This slowed things down considerably, of course. Then, in the middle of Wichita, where we were switching roads, we got stuck in a traffic jam. No telling what caused it, really. We weren't moving at all for quite a while, and then we were. After we were stuck in that for a while, we finally got moving again, onto a turnpike. At the first opportunity, we stopped at a service station (which had a gas station, information kiosk, and McDonalds. Unfortunately, they also had frozen pipes, which meant no running water and no bathrooms. The boys pissed outside, and since I'm a bit compulsive about not having a full bladder ("I had a bad experience.") I found a concealed spot and went too. The cold air on my rear end wasn't the worst part, actually. There was a big snowdrift between us and the concealed spot. In the long run, though, I had no trouble at all with the experience. The roads changed from snowpacked to icy somewhere around the Oklahoma border. It wasn't too terribly bad as long as there were sensible drivers that drove at an appropriate speed, with plenty of space, and downshifting to slow. At no time did we skid badly or think we were stuck or anything. Right after Tulsa, the iciness went away for the most part and we had dry roads all the way to our destination. The trip, which normally takes us 12ish hours took 17.5 hours. But we got there safely, so I can't complain.
I'm really glad "Big D" did a good job and the extra time gave my brother's girlfriend and I a good time to chat, so that was a bonus too. I can't praise highly enough our adoptive brother, Gabe, who had the idea to bring walkie-talkies. Great idea!
I hope all of you are safe and sound too! Happy holidays! I plan to keep blogging during the trip, so I'll still be around, but I don't think I'll be able to keep up with reading friends blogs as I'd like. I'll be sure to catch up when I get home though. Don't want to miss any of the fun. ;)