Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Long Trip home from Road Atlanta (Dec 2013)

I wish I could say the trip home was smoother, but it was not.  The estimated 9hr trip down ended up stretching to 11hrs due to a lot of sleet in IL and tons of rain through Kentucky and Tennessee.  Although it was mid 50's on Saturday in Atlanta, I knew my watching the weather reports there would be a great chance of more snow and ice back home on Sunday.

We took off Saturday around 5pm after the conclusion of the sprint race.  The plan was to drive a couple hours and see how we felt - probably grabbing a hotel and finishing the trip early Sunday morning.  After a few hours we found a Logan's Steakhouse (a chain my Dad wanted to try) and ate.  I went ahead and pricelined a hotel in Murfreesboro TN - about 2 hours away - which we coincidentally stopped at to eat dinner on the way down.  We pulled in to the hotel around 9pm, I was beyond exhausted after driving the last 2 hours on a full stomach.

We got up with the usual 5:40am alarm, had by far the best continental b-fast of the trip (bacon, eggs, etc) and started on our way.  It was already raining and the temp was 34 degrees - no ice YET.  We had an hour or so until Nashville; so about 6-7 hrs home.  The temp hovered around freezing through TN and turned into freezing rain around KY.  Prior to that we had our biggest scare.  I had the cruise set, and was passing a semi in the left lane over an overpass when the car starting heavily fishtailing.  I counter-steered through a tank-slapper as the car's DSC figured things out and cancelled the cruise - all withing a few seconds.  Wild!  A stop for coffee/Mt Dew was in order shortly thereafter...

KY was much worse.  The temp was holding at 29 with light freezing drizzle and all the overpasses were iced.  No salt or anything had been layed and honestly there wasn't many vehicles in the road as it was 8-9am still.

Once into IL, we found the snow.  Immediately and looked like 6+ inches pretty quick.  I-24 was ok, but once we were on I-57 we started seeing multiple vehicles off the road.  Also long sections where the interstate had only 1 lane un-iced, so it was single lane traffic around 60mph for awhile.

We seen lots of people waiting for wreckers, lots of wreckers out, and came up on a cop with an SUV that must have just flipped - dude looked pretty shocked and had no coat or anything on!

My Dad had his ride meet us later on I-57 to save me some miles - and about 90min - dropping him off.  That happened about 11:30am.  It would be 2+ hours of 2-lane home from there and that was extremely low-key fortunately.  I had the NFL Network to keep me entertained and had a beer open about 5min after I got home.  All safe.  Till next time...

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