Air travel is rather safe now a days but this was Sarah’s first ever flight. Because of that Carla and I decided we shouldn’t just abandon her at the drop off zone. We decided to get Sarah a golden ticket. Well actually it was a green tag. But that special tag allowed us to be able to see her off at the gate on her maiden flight. All of that went well and she landed safely in Seattle. However there was one safety issue we didn’t think to consider.
The drive home. It is winter here in Utah. I guess it is winter everywhere in the northern hemisphere. But winter in Utah means cold, like never getting above freezing all day, cold. Being that cold along with a light snow shower all day equates to bad roads.
It wasn’t that bad getting to the airport. The sun was still out, so it was easy to see and the roads were getting a little bit of heat. But the way home was a different story. By the time we left the airport it was dark and getting colder.
I knew the freeways would be a mess so we decided to take city streets home. That meant it would take longer but we both felt safer at the slower speeds. So we crept home at 10 to 30 miles an hour on roads with a posted speed limit of 60. Most of the other drivers were doing as we were and going very slow. But there were a few that were in a hurry to get to their accident.
Even at such slow speeds the drive was a bit scary. This was especially true when the car in front of us started sliding backwards and sideways. I knew I couldn’t just slam on the breaks to keep from getting into his path. I had to let the car slowly slow down and hope we would stop before he slid into us. That was a very tense few seconds.
He finally got control of his car and managed to get into the other lane. But this left me with a problem. I knew from watching him that the lane we were in was quite icy just a few feet a head of us, but getting over to the other lane wasn’t a simple thing either.
We just sat there for a bit as I looked for an opportunity to get over without getting hit. This made us both rather anxious. While I was stopped to let the car in front of me get over, I had my emergency flasher on so that people would realize I was stopped. But I wanted to get over now, so I had to have my turn signal on, so it wasn’t obvious to others that I was at a dead stop. After a few tense moments I finally got an opportunity to get over.
That was the worst of it, but after that we were both a bit edgy. I tried to be super cautious but that didn’t stop us from worrying. Having totaled a car on black ice before, I am always a bit nervous when the temperature goes below freezing. But after a long slow drive we finally got home. We survived the trip home.
After relaxing a bit I was looking over the news. There were over a hundred and fifty accidents on Utah roads today. And that is only the major ones. The ones significant enough for the police to come out. They don’t track all of the small fender benders. Like someone sliding into you as almost happed to us.
I am still very happy in Utah, but it is becoming quite clear that driving here is a bit different than driving in Seattle.