Thursday, March 13, 2014

Winter 2014 Recap- My Great Snow Adventure

Winter 2014 was definitely one of the worst in years, weather-wise. Since I have not been diligent about blogging the past couple months, I want to recap my Great Snow Adventure of 2014 one month later, because it is too eventful not to share. So let's back up to the morning of February 12, 2014. I headed to work like any other day, but due to the forecast of snow in central North Carolina I figured I would only be working half a day. So in preparation I wore my Hunter boots. Usually when it starts snowing around here it begins with flurries and then gradually gets stronger and starts accumulating. So I wasn't too worried about leaving work at the first sign of snow and getting home safely, even though I live about 20 minutes away from work. So, a little before 1:00pm that day I left work when it first started to snow, along with everyone else in my office. I got on I-40 and things were okay at first. The snow was coming down pretty steadily but I turned my windshield wipers on and the roads were still clear enough that I could drive safely. However, the snow kept coming down harder and harder, and when I was about 5-6 miles from the exit I get off at to go to my apartment, traffic slowed down drastically. Cars were creeping along, and the snow continued to pour down. I should note that I drive a Honda Accord. Definitely NOT 4-wheel drive, and pretty much useless for driving in rapidly accumulating snow. For a little bit I was able to creep along the highway, and by this time my anxiety level was super high. Then I started slipping and sliding, and my car got stuck. I knew there was no way I was going to be able to make it home, so I was able to get my car unstuck enough to pull it over to the side of the interstate. I tried to call my parents, my roommate, and Triple A, but my iPhone wasn't making calls. I could text though, so I asked my parents and my roommate to call Triple A for me and tell them where I was stranded. When I wasn't getting responses after a few minutes I made the decision to get my purse and another bag out of my car, lock it, and walk. THANKFULLY, I was really close to an exit that had hotels, so I walked to the closest one, which was right across the top of the exit. I still walked about half a mile though, and I was so glad I was wearing my Hunter boots. They literally saved my tail that day! Once I got into the hotel lobby I was able to check my phone and see that my mom had left a voicemail but I was still having a hard time making calls. The nice lady working at the front desk let my use her phone to call my mom back. My mom informed me that there was a four hour wait for Triple A in my area, and that I should see if they had a room at the hotel. At this time it was probably a little bit after 2:00pm, and the hotel said that they had been sold out since noon that day. Since the hotel was so close to the airport and flights had already been cancelled, this did not surprise me. So it looked like I would be spending the night in the hotel lobby. To add to my anxiety, that day happened to be the one day I did not grab my iPhone charger. While my phone had about 90% charge when I got to the hotel, I was anxious about keeping it on since I didn't know how long I would be stuck there. In addition, that day was also the one day I didn't grab my Bible, journal, or other reading material, so I didn't really have anything to do while I kept my phone turned off to conserve battery. There was a computer in the business center of the hotel lobby that I could access though (albeit slow). So I got on to Facebook and updated my status on where I was, and that my phone was off to conserve battery. At that point the Carolina-Dook basketball game had not been cancelled yet, so I knew that people would think I was dead if I didn't talk about it on social media and didn't respond to texts about it, so I was glad to let the world know I would have my phone mostly off but would be watching it in the hotel lobby. Well, the snowstorm was so bad they ended up postponing the game until eight days later. You know it's BAD when the greatest rivalry in all of sports is postponed! I also sent a few emails to people. Later in the afternoon and into the evening the snow turned into freezing rain and ice. Eventually a room opened up so I didn't have to spend the night in the lobby. Someone from church actually wanted to come pick me up that night, but I told them to stay safe at home. And I found someone else stranded in the lobby that had an iPhone 4 charger, so I hung out downstairs for awhile and watched the Olympics while my phone was charging. I was also fortunate I had some snacks on me, so I wasn't too hungry. I somehow managed to sleep okay after going up to my room, but I still had some anxiety the next morning when I woke up because I still wasn't sure when I was going to be able to make it to my apartment where clean clothes and a phone charger and entertainment awaited me. Plus my car was still stranded on the side of I-40 and I was supposed to go out of town that weekend. And it was already Thursday and the snow and ice wasn't going to be melting that day. Plus more precipitation was supposed to fall later in the day. Ugh!!! I called Triple A but they weren't going to be able to come pick me up anytime soon since there was still a delay in my area. The main roads had been cleared overnight, so luckily one of the amazing pastors from my church with a heavy duty four-wheel drive vehicle was able to safely come pick me up from the hotel and take me to my apartment. I was able to spend the rest of that Thursday relaxing on the couch watching the Olympics. On Friday after the temperatures got above freezing and stuff started to melt, my roommate took me to retrieve my abandoned car. I thought I would find it sitting there and ready to drive. My car was sitting on the side of the road alright, but it was surrounded by a pile of snow from where the snow plows had come through. I couldn't even open the door on the driver's side- I had to climb over the passenger seat to get into the drivers' seat. There was no way I was going to be able to get out of the snow pile on my own so I called Triple A yet again. It was going to be at least two hours before they could come pull my car out of the mess. My roommate's parents live about 10 minutes from where my car was stranded, so they came and helped shovel snow around my car and tried to push it out of the snow pile. We made some progress, and then finally a random guy with a pick-up truck stopped and attached my car to his truck with a cord and literally pulled my car out. I was then finally able to hit the road and safely make it to SC to spend the weekend with friends.
This snow adventure is one of the scariest things that ever happened to me, but God was faithful through it all. It really could've been a lot worse. I'm so grateful I was near a safe, clean hotel when I got stuck rather than out in the middle of nowhere. I'm grateful there was a public computer at the hotel that I could use to check Facebook and email. And I'm thankful that there was another person stranded on the way home from work who had an iPhone 4 charger I was able to use so I didn't have to leave my phone off the whole time. Here are some pictures from my adventure:

So glad I was wearing my Hunter Boots the day I got stranded!

Took some pics on the deck of our apartment once I finally made it home safe after a night in a hotel.
Outfit Details: Hat- Target; Fleece and Scarf: Lilly Pulitzer, Leggings: Old Navy, Boots: Hunter

What my car looked like when I found went to retrieve it from the side of the interstate two days after the storm.

Now let's hurry up Spring!

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