That Time We Got Stuck in the Snow

I’m back on the west coast now! Yay! It was a long process, and we still don’t have any of our furniture or dishes or internet or TV, but we are in Seattle again and I am so stoked!

This week’s Road Trip Wednesday over at YA Highway seems so appropriate:

In celebration of the release of Kristin Halbrook’s NOBODY BUT US (hooray!!) we’re asking: Zoe and Will set off on the road to seek a better life and encounter loads of drama on the way. What’s the most dramatic road trip you’ve ever been on?

Since my husband and I can’t seem to decide on a coast, I have driven cross-country with him thrice. I also drove cross-country with one of my friends and my sister a decade ago (side note: OMG I’m old). So road trip stories. I have them.

Probably the most dramatic road trip story is from the Seattle-to-Virginia trip we took in April, 2010. My husband had to get to his new job and the deadline was tight. Like, two days tight. We left Seattle, WA at 8 pm, heading to Richmond, VA, only stopping for gas and for ONE four hour stay at a hotel. Our cat was not pleased. I don’t blame him; it was absurd. I am pretty sure we thought we were still capable of all-nighters–my husband was. I was not. When I say that WE drove that whole way, I mean that I drove for about eight hours out of the gate and blew all my energy at once, only to keep nodding off the rest of the trip and only taking one or two hour shifts for the rest of the time. I don’t function on no sleep.

Yeah, yeah, I’m a jerk. But I was such a tired jerk. I vaguely remember standing in front of a Subway counter in West Virginia, wanting to cry because I couldn’t figure what I should eat.

Oh, and that hotel stay? We were in Colorado, and we figured we could cut ourselves a tiny bit of slack. Weather was great and we were making good time. We took the shortest ever nap, and then gathered our things to leave again–only to see that it was snowing. We still had to drive through Vail Pass, which is nearly 10,000 ft. elevation. We got a quarter of the way across in my little Nissan-Sentra-that-could and then the wheels just wouldn’t stay on the road. We sat on the side of the road with no chains and no cell service and snow piling up on our windshield fast. Trucks whisked by and my husband attempted to flag one down, but there was so much snow that it would be a wonder if they could’ve even seen him.

Finally, a tow truck pulled over and hooked us up to his truck. Then he proceeded to tow us while we were STILL INSIDE OUR CAR. If you have ever experienced that, it is not a pleasant thing. The shocks were ineffective. Every bump felt like an enormous pothole. And dude was speeding, because they were about to close the pass. In fact, they DID close it, and our truck was literally the last one allowed over to the other side.

He unhooked us in the next town and we paid him an embarrassing sum of money. It was worth it.

Do you have any fun road trip stories? I’d love to hear them! Also, are you planning to buy NOBODY BUT US? Because I absolutely am.

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7 comments

  1. Jennifer Pickrell says:

    Several cross-country trips – wow! I become all control-freakish if I’m driving long distances, thinking I can drive for hours and hours without stopping. Once I think I actually yelled, “Don’t drink that, because I am not stopping for bathroom breaks!” Eek…

  2. Rebecca B says:

    Um, that snow story freaked me out! I am glad you guys made it out okay. Have you considered turning it into a tense novella/short story? 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      Haha, that’s what my mom always says, that I should write this story. I also have a weird story about an angry elk at Yellowstone that she is desperate for me to include in a book one day 🙂

  3. Kris Atkins says:

    Oh man! Vail Pass is a doozy. I should know, having driven it countless times. Hmmm … great road trip stories? I know I have them–I’ve driven between Denver and Utah tons and tons, and between South Carolina and Utah tons and tons as well, including one trip where we drove to Yellowstone and stayed the night, then drove to Madison, WI and stayed two nights, then drove to Iowa (some small town) and stayed the night, then drove to West Virginia and stayed the night, then on to Charleston, SC (we stayed with friends and family). I guess The first leg of that trip is pretty good. My husband and I were engaged at the time, and we were heading to SC for our wedding. Well, we thought it would be fun to drive through Yellowstone and stay the night. In late April. Yellowstone is not so warm that time of year. So, when we saw snow in the campgrounds still (and we only had a tent, not some fancy schmancy RV) we decided to continue to Cody, WY. Because, hey!, the map showed that it was only 60 miles to Cody. Guess what! It’s 60 miles on a small highway over a super high pass that is literally switchback after switchback and so on. Super windy and slow going. And it was dark when we left Yellowstone, so … we didn’t get to Cody till late. Since it was so late and I was pooped, I wanted to stay in a hotel but the Mister was having none of that. So we finally found a campground that was actually open … wait, no it wasn’t. It was 2 am and we found an open spot. So we popped open our tent and crawled in, all annoyed with each other. In the morning, we paid the office and were much happier. And we still managed to get married! The rest of the trip went much, much smoother.
    Good luck in Seattle! Such a beautiful area. We spent a week there (mostly on the peninsula, actually) in September and fell in love.

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