Well folks, it has certainly been an interesting three days. Beginning with Friday, we drove out to Asheville around noon to run some errands (and I had a hair appointment). We thought nothing of it because the weather forecast said that it was supposed to start raining at 3pm and then by nightfall (6pm) the rain would turn into snow. Great, no problem. We had plenty of time. The only problem is that weather rolled in much quicker and heavier than the forecasters predicted.
As I was sitting in the stylist’s chair with soaking wet hair, I looked over and saw that it had started snowing. Huh. That wasn’t supposed to happen yet – what happened to the rain? So, I called the Irishman and said you better come get me, it’s snowing. As we left the hair salon, he wanted to squeeze in one more errand (to pick up a special edition beer) and I started to get nervous. In typical male bravado, he boasted, “Don’t worry about it. It’s still 40 degrees outside. It won’t stick yet.”
I snapped this picture with my phone right as we were getting on the highway.
It was slow going, but decent driving conditions for the first half of the trip. But then things got ugly. About 20 miles from home, cars not equipped for the conditions started spinning out on the road in front of us. It was completely understandable considering that just one hour after we left Asheville, this is what we were driving through.
We were driving about 25 miles an hour. Thankfully, Parker had his DVD player so he was blissfully ignorant about how scary the drive actually was. Of course, it got worse. About 6 miles from home, we saw a handful of cars stopped up ahead. Crap. There was a man standing in the road holding up traffic. This is about when a full blown panic hit me. We were way further than walking distance from home. I didn’t even have my heavy jacket with me (it was in the car I had driven earlier) and we didn’t have any extra food in the car.
Actually, that isn’t entirely true. I did have a stash of ketchup packets in the glove box that I kept for dire emergencies. In fact, the Irishman made fun of me on a regular basis for hoarding ketchup packets, but I swear to you, every story I had ever heard of someone falling in a ditch and being lost for days before discovery ended with, “I survived eating ketchup packets.” It made an impression on me, so I started stashing them in the glove box. Of course, us stopped six miles from home with a small child and no idea of when we’d start moving again was probably not the best time for me to bring it up (which of course I did), but strangely enough, I felt comforted by the thought of a handful of packets.
The good news is that (1) we were only at a standstill for about 20 minutes or so. They had stopped us to allow emergency crews to clear up a wreck further up the road; (2) our new Subaru Outback handled amazingly well. The Irishman said that there wasn’t a single moment when he felt unstable in it. He was more freaked out by the cars careening off of the road in front of us than by the actual driving itself.
I heaved a huge sigh of relief when we got off on our exit and an even bigger one when we hit the town proper since we could easily have walked home from there. Thankfully, our trusty new car took us all the way up to the house (on 3 inches of fresh snow). We started a fire, toasted to being safely in our home and swore that we would not do something so foolish as being 50 miles from our home within hours of a predicted storm system moving.
Here are some pictures I took as soon as we got home. All of this snow accumulated in a matter of 2 hours.
This below was the actual color of the sky.
This is looking out of one of the front windows of our house. Look at how blue everything was in comparison to the warm tones of our house. So surreal!
Oh and we finally figured out how to start and maintain a fire. Good thing since we promptly lost power for 15 hours.