Yesterday we had the first snowfall of the season here in the D.C. area. The snow started at about 7 a.m. and had already made things really nasty by about 7:30. I was on my way to work and actually decided to turn around and head home because of how bad things were getting.
It was very strange. At the beginning, the snow wasn’t actually sticking to the roads, it was just laying on top. When the wind would blow, the snow would blow around on the road, too. Unfortunately, when the wind would blow, the cars would blow around on the road, as well.
I got about 10 miles down the road from my house towards my office, and my car just would not stick to the road. I was going about 45 miles per hour on the Interstate and was completely at the mercy of the wind. Right in front of me, I watched a Volkswagen Beetle blow basically from the left lane all the way over to the right shoulder of the road. At that point, I called my supervisor and let him know that I wouldn’t be making it into the office.
I got off at the next exit and took the back way home. That was an absolute mess. At one point, I saw a car that had slid off the side of the road into a ditch that’s about 15 feet deep. The car was laying on its side. Both occupants of the vehicle were standing in front of it talking on their cell phones, though, so I didn’t feel the need to stop.
A mile or so up the road from there, I came to a very steep hill. On the other side of the road, there was a line of about ten or fifteen cars pulled off to the side of the road, essentially blocking that side of the road. My side of the road (going up the hill) was clear, though. So, I (and the car behind me) decided to attempt the trip up the hill. It took me about 15 minutes to finally make it to the top of the hill because of how slick it was. I had to stop a few times and back up a little bit just to get pointed in the right direction. Every time I started to get going just a little bit, my car would start fishtailing, with my rear end sliding toward the ditch and my front end pointing into the other lane. The car behind me had even worse luck than I did.
After that, although it was extremely slick and dangerous, it was pretty much smooth sailing for me. It took me about three times the amount of time it usually takes me, but I made it home without any major incidents. When I got to my driveway, I actually slid off into the ditch while slowing down to make the turn into the driveway. I was able to back up and get myself back on the road without any real problems, though.