Monday, January 10, 2011

A Long Strange Trip

Icy Roads

Sometimes the light's all shinin' on me,
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it's been.

What a crazy weekend we had. Sunday was my son's 25th birthday, so we headed to Texas to celebrate. We had a wonderful time visiting and enjoyed spending time with the kids and their new kitten, Polly.


Normally when we visit for the weekend we stay until fairly late on Sunday afternoon. Under normal circumstances it is a five hour trip from Mena to Keene, Texas where my son lives. Because a snow storm was forecast for Arkansas we decided that we should leave early. We went out for a Birthday Dinner at Mi Familia and left for home shortly after noon.

Gavin's Birthday Dinner

While we were enjoying our meal the waitress came and told us that it had started snowing. We knew that a snowstorm was forecast for Arkansas, but snow hadn't been forecast for the Dallas Fort Worth area. We decided to cut our visit short and leave immediately for home. The snow wasn't sticking to the road as we drove through Dallas, but not long after heavy snow started sticking to the road and I-30 became very bad.

I-30 In Snow

As we slowly made our way along I-30 we saw more and more vehicles in the ditch. We watched as a vehicle in front of us spun around and ended up headed towards us. Fortunately we were far enough back that we could avoid hitting them. They didn't go into the ditch but ended up on the shoulder going the wrong way. Apparently they didn't learn anything from their experience as before long they sped past us. I was more than happy to plod along at a slow steady pace. We saw a number of trucks jackknifed and snapped a photo of this one as we made our way around it.


We stopped to top off the gas tank and go to the bathroom - we wanted to make sure we were prepared. By this time our Kia was covered in ice. It would only get worse as our trip progressed.

Covered In Ice

By sundown we had reached our exit at New Boston where we turned north to head home on the winding hilly two lane roads of Arkansas. As bad as I-30 had been I was nervous about what I would find on these rural roads. We immediately had to stop as the exit was backed up from an accident on the overpass. In a few minutes the police got things cleared and we were able get over the overpass.

Traffic Jam

The two lane roads had very little traffic so we were able to make steady time even if it was slow. We did have a half hour wait near Grannis, Arkansas while we waited for tow trucks to get some semi-trucks out of the way who hadn't been able to make it up a steep hill. We were glad that we had filled up with gas and gone to the bathroom not that long ago. The ice had accumulated around our tires leaving almost no room to steer

Packed Ice

We finally made it home to Mena after ten hours on the road. It took us just twice as long as it normally does. I prayed a pray of thanks to God for keeping us safe on our trip home. I didn't realize just how fortunate we had been on our trip until I turned the TV on this morning and heard that many people on I-30 in Arkansas had been stranded since 5:30 the night before. Many people had to spend the night in their cars and still were not moving 18 hours later.

What a long strange trip it was!

Icy Roads


  1. My daughter lives in Ponder Tx and called yester day afternoon and they were out in freezing rain and snow (Playing).
    God is good-- so happy you and family made it home safe.

  2. WOW! Thanks be to God that you made it home OK. My son was in Dallas this weekend, also. I received a text message from him this am that he had made it home OK. I would have been much more concerned about his safety had I known it was this bad. Thanks for the scary photos.

  3. So glad that you made it home safe!

  4. I'm glad you got home ok. I hate travelling in bad weather. I've made several scary trips in east Texas along I20 in similar situations and hated it.

  5. glad you made it home safe!!! Fantastic photos...but so sorry you had to endure all that to get them!! Just here to say "hi!" Warmly, Janine

  6. I have had trips like that too...I had to laugh at your description of the car that zoomed past you again after spinning out. Some don't learn!

  7. That's awful, Richard. But it made for an awesome blog post. Glad you made it home safely. :)

  8. What an utter nightmare journey, so glad you made it safely. The ice that accumulated on the Kia is scary! We have had snow all day today and the temp is 18 right now and headed down to 4 overnight, horrible.

  9. Oh my gosh, what a scary drive. The picture with the ice around the tires is incredible! Glad you made it home safely!

  10. I am glad you are safe and sound after that adventure. What a messy road. Winter is having her fun with us.

  11. Wow, what a trip and great photos. I heard of all the back ups. I would say you were lucky but you also showed good sense.
    Had no idea ice could accumulate like that around the wheel wells. Scary.
    So glad you made it safely.

  12. Snow and cars can be fun. 200 people just spent 28 hours in a tunnel in the Norwegian mountains during a blizzard.

  13. Oi, this is awful. So glad you made it home in one piece.
    Glad to be in an almost snowless country when I see your story.

  14. brrrrr - makes me cold just looking at those photos! ... I am glad it doesn't usually get that cold here! (there are a few alpine areas of Australia that can get like that sometimes, but mostly we just get bushfires in Summer ... or, floods)