Middle of the Month

As fall quickly moves forward we are seeing the approaching storms of winter, and as it turns out no one will get away without some type of bizarre weather for the year.

Last year we did very well at missing the storms. We were either at home when the were at their worst or we came in a few days behind or in front of them.
Somehow I don’t think we will be as lucky this year and last trip start my concern towards this.
The winter storm that HAMMERED the East coast at the end of October is just the beginning of what is to come. At least that is what you hear on the CB from the other drivers that are out here like we are.
The last trip to Wisconsin was interesting to say the least and, like the tornado’s, every thing happens at night and I am unable to get any pictures.  
(Anyone know of a good camera that works well in challenging light and while moving?)
Most of the time we are fighting Snoqualmie Pass in Washington. The road doesn’t get much attention till after there are accidents. At which time DOT makes the trucks put on chains, even though the road just needs a good pass or two with the plow. For years this has been the problem and this year many not be the exception. When we plan a trip I have to watch all the mountain pass reports for the route we are taking. Some states just shut down the road, such as I-80 through Wyoming and Nebraska. The winds are so fierce that vehicles are blown off the road or you have white out conditions.
We like to head out the night before when we are loading in eastern Washington to allow for such situations and this last trip was no exception. 
So we head out and get over the hill just before they put the chain law into effect, yay for us.
After getting loaded, an all day event, with pears we head towards Idaho where we have two mountain passes to get over and there is an approaching storm ahead.

We stop in Post Falls grab a quick bite and get back on the road. Up the road about 10 miles we come to a complete stop and find out the road has been shut down due to spin-outs. The storm moved in and slammed the first little hill before we even got to the big passes and we were escorted off the Interstate into a small town that cannot handle all the traffic. And here we sit for an hour or so while the crews get the road cleared of both vehicles and snow. While we are here I am watching the road reports and I am not finding anything posted except the Fourth of July pass is requiring chains.
Not looking forward to this as I forgot to pack our winter boots, I hate wet cold feet.
When the road reopens Chris waits a bit for the first surge to get moving and we head out. This is where I needed a camera that takes good pictures in low light while moving, the number of trucks and cars that were spun out through the mountain passes was incredible. 
I only wish I could have shown you what we saw, plus with the number of them being West bound, the road was shut down and blocked in several areas and looked like it was going to take many hours to clean up. Glad we were heading East. 
Once we past Missoula, MT the weather was just really cold. (I know not as cold as what Teri was dealing with Northern Alberta, but cold enough that we had to leave the truck run.)
Next morning we woke to overcast and cold, so off we head. As we get closer to Billings the weather is still cold but sunny.

Rest of the trip was fairly uneventful as most are. As we were getting on I-94 we noticed skid marks which can be attributed to frozen brakes being dragged. Then we saw the trailer with no truck. Always entertaining for us.
Further down the road though we came upon a FedEx trailer.
As you can see the front end has some damage to it, though one can only surmise as there isn’t a truck or another trailer as most of the time these are part of a group being towed.
Just ahead of this we see this car being hooked up with massive damage to the front end.
And just ahead of it is a tanker that has a big dent, which isn’t uncommon to see, but it is also getting towed.

So this day is good for picture taking, but isn’t giving a clear picture as to what happened.
Then we came upon this sight. These are snow plow blades on the side of the road.

This would be the snow plow that they belong to, and it is hooked to a wrecker…
So the next shot should show why, right? Well I think it does tell the story and a costly one at that.
Could have been the flying snow that the plows leave in their wake that cause this driver to run into the back of the plow. Or he just wasn’t paying attention. Don’t really know, can only surmise. Oh, and tell the story my way.
But that wasn’t the end of the day. We pull into Beach, ND for a quick break and we see this poor guy talking with the local Sheriff regarding the damage to his truck. 
A much simpler tale to tell. He was in the driveway waiting to get back on the road and another truck (never saw which one hit him) was entering the driveway and hit the ice and slid right into this guy’s truck. You can see the sleeper damage and the fuel tank had been ruptured so this became an even bigger problem as he may have just fueled up at the fuel stop here.

As I said not much happened on this day. The rest of trip was uneventful as all the deer strapped to the rear racks on the minivans and other such vehicles were all seen in bad light so I was unable to get any pictures but it is funny to see. There were a couple of deer on roof racks but most of them were getting hit with exhaust fumes and road crud.

I will continue our tale with the next trip out.
Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends and to the rest of our friends don’t spend all you Christmas money on Black Friday, there is always more to come.

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