Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Should We Stay, Or Should We Go Now?

What do you see when you look at this map? (Other than it might be time for us to break down and buy a new one.) Well, Chicago to the west, which is where we were Sunday evening, after packing up at Grayslake. Plymouth, to the east, where I live and would like to return to. Anything else? Well, Lake Michigan...Right! Now you are getting warmer. I'll give you a hint: it sits below the lake, seemingly innocent in print, but actually is the Bermuda Triangle of winter driving in Indiana -- LaPorte County.

Sunday, Chicago had its second snowstorm of the season, and road conditions seemed tough enough locally that we should stay over. Monday, things were looking much better in Illinois, but roads in Indiana were still closed. Due to lake-effect snow, which was still falling, LaPorte County had gotten more than 20 inches in less than 2 days. Drifts were 7 feet high in places. And that's on the road. News reports told of 100s of stranded motorists. Even fully-loaded salt trucks were in the ditch. Black ice and 50 mile-an-hour winds pushed them around like a child clearing Tonkas off a table. Our friend Lynda was kind enough to take us in for the evening, but by Tuesday morning, we really needed to get back.

According to the state police, Route 30 eastbound was now "passable." And man, that's all it was. Actually, it was barely passable. Above is the roadway just outside of LaPorte County; below is the road IN LaPorte County about 5 minutes later:


Blue sky is gone. A foot of snow and ice are still on the road, with more coming down. The front of the van is jumping around "like a buckboard wagon," as Joe put it. And the back of the trailer is heading for the ditch, to join the legion of other cars and a semi already there from the weekend's carnage. It is only a 10-mile stretch, but you have to go through it. And just like the troll under the bridge, it's gonna make you pay.
Ten miles at 25 MPH seems like an eternity. But once we were through, we were only 15 minutes from home. Whew. We'll be headed back Friday for Wheaton, so keep your fingers crossed that Old Man Winter will be taking a break this weekend.
Many thanks to everyone who came out to support us at Grayslake! The show was very busy Saturday, and it was great to see everyone. Extra super big thanks to those who came out Sunday, despite the weather. Check back later this week for a Wheaton update and plan to join us there Saturday! xo

4 comments:

Anita said...

Wowsa. There are worse places to be trapped- I'd love to stay with Lynda for 2 days :) She's got to be the hostess with the mostess! We're coming to Grays in January!!!!Merry Christmas to you and Joe and the fam.

Gracie's Cottage said...

Glad you made it...you are braver than I am. Was supposed to leave for Michigan on Sunday, postponed til Monday...finally threw in the towel at 3:30 yesterday morning, (my last chance to get there for grandparents day at school...)

Your area always scares the bejeebers out of me at this time of year!!

Jan

Jeanine Burkhardt said...

OMG!*!*! I was thinking about ALL you Dealers at Grayslake this past weekend... Sooooo glad you FINALLY got home safe and sound... Winter is Twilight Zone in the Midwest... A big hug to you and Joe... AND Safe travels for this weekend!!!
Jeanine, ChiPPy!-SHaBBy!

Cindy said...

just read your post sandy. so glad you got home o.k. the weather was terrible last weekend. so far so good this week, i will keep my fingers crossed for you guys for wheaton. nothing like a white knuckle drive, especially with a trailer, i can't imagine!

enjoy the holidays, see you in grayslake next month. love my purchases((:
xo C