Alaska natural 2

2010

Rain? Really?

November 23, 2010
Some days just aren’t fair. I mean, you live in Alaska and you can expect certain things from the weather. Mostly it won’t get too hot in the summer. It will rain on and off from mid July until September and in winter it is cold and there’s snow. Given.
Today we had icy rain. All the way from the south coast to the Arctic coast. Roads so icy they were barely passable. The first 10 miles of the commute were ice shoulder to shoulder on the road and no treatment whatsoever, not even a little gravel spread on the curves or hills. It was 20 mph the whole way. I followed a school bus with chains and they chewed up a little track that I kept one wheel in, The highway was a little better but never got over 45. Schools closed around me and should have been closed in Anchorage.
Fairbanks was just about immobilized and even Barrow the northernmost city in North America got icy rain. A meteorologist in Fairbanks said something like this only happened twice in the last 100 years.
Coming home was worse. An hour and a half to do a trip that normally takes about 40 minutes.Worst again was the blue highway to the house. Ten miles of sheet ice and no school bus. I stopped once I got on it to clean the headlights but even pulled off the road it was so slick I could barely stand up. Thought better of it and drove on with dirty headlights. On the way out this afternoon I passed some folks who were going the other way. A truck was hooked up to a small car and it looked like the car couldn’t make an icy hill and the truck was going to pull it up. I remembered that on the way home and got a little way on at the two hills I have to climb. First one went fine, but the second one was longer. 
I love the seven gears the paddle shifters offer for the control they afford, but even so I barely made it. There’s a good straight stretch before it but every time I got up to about fifth gear, the wheels started slipping and climbing toward the ditch. Barely made it to the top as I held onto each gear as long as I could, knowing each lower gear added that much more torque to make the wheels spin. Even so I topped it in second gear, barely, and then still slipped and slid the next five miles before I got off on a side road. Snow I can deal with but rain? Really? What’s fair about that? Supposed to be same tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving, indeed.

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