Instead of heading back to Colorado from Kansas City, I decided to drive up to Rochester, Minnesota.
Why??? Because a man had some very hard to find parts for my project car up there.
Why didn’t I just have them shipped? For several reasons…
First, they are fairly heavy…and that would make the parts more expensive. And paying top dollar for a used anything is not my idea of a path to peace and happiness.
Second, if I buy a used book that isn’t in the condition that I expected, I can live with it. I don’t like it, but I can live with it. But hard to find car parts to complete a project car…that’s a different animal. If I have a choice of which type of mental and emotional anguish I must endure, I would rather do the driving and learn that the guy is trying to con me in person before I give him my money rather than paying for the item, paying to ship it and then learning it when I open up my long awaited package. (FYI, there is a third option that is worse than either of these…)
Can you tell that I have a little experience in this area? But I digress…
Third, it would be a 13 ½ hour drive each way from my house. That’s 27 hours round trip for the mathematically challenged out there. But it’s only 6 hours from Kansas City. So I can save almost 18 hours of driving!
And fourth, I am driving a new Camaro!
I made it to Rochester (did you know that it is really cold in MN???), loaded the parts (they were in great shape!!!) in the Camaro’s trunk, grabbed a bite to eat and headed off to Sioux Falls, SD. The first two hours of the 3 ½ hour drive went smoothly. I was going to arrive at around 9:00 PM. But man did that change!!!
A strong wind kicked up and started blowing snow off the open fields to the north side of the westbound lanes. I couldn’t see an-y-thing! I am not exaggerating! I couldn’t see the road. I couldn’t see the side of the road. I couldn’t see the parkway (??) between the east and westbound lanes. I could however see a bunch of dim headlights in the eastbound lanes that were not moving. My only hope that I was still on the road lied in the fact that I had not turned my steering wheel!
But the blinding snow was sporadic…for about 20 miles. And then it wasn’t!
It wasn’t too long before I was forced to come to a complete stop in the #1 lane. My fellow westbound travelers had given up a little way back. I didn’t dare pull off to the side of the road because I couldn’t see where that was! Talk about a helpless feeling!
I heard the sound of an 18 wheeler approaching me in the #2 lane.
Oh my goodness…I hope I’m still in my lane!
As he drove by me, I saw that the rear of his trailer was completely outlined with lights…
I’ve got to follow that guy! That is my only hope!
For the next 30 miles (there were a few breaks, but not many and not for very long!), that was all I could see. On more than one occasion, the snow was blowing so hard that the rectangular shape of the trailer became distorted and the lights started growing dim.
If I lose him, I’m stuck! I can not let that happen!!!
When I tried to accelerate in order to get closer, I could feel the rear tires break loose!
That’s right…this Camaro is from North Carolina. It doesn’t have snow tires! I didn’t even think of that!
There were several times when the road that I couldn’t see must have curved. I know that because I had to steer that way to keep following the truck! I felt a fear that was similar to being on a roller coaster only in very…slow…motion. Talk about praying!!!
“Jesus, please help that guy see. Help him stay on the road…because if he goes off, I am going off too. Help me (steer)… Help my tires stick…”
I made it to Sioux Falls about an hour and a half later than I planned. But, thankfully, I made it!
I checked into the hotel and hit the sack. When I woke up, I looked at the clock…
I’ve been sleeping…for 9 straight hours??? Huh…I guess I wasn’t making that up. It really was stressful!