Eclectalife — December 24, 2008 at 3:29 pm

Fire and Ice: Travel Woes Strike Again


Remember our Thanksgiving trip to St. Louis from Ann Arbor? Sure you do. That’s when my car caught on fire and completely burned up.

Well, Christmastime inevitably means a trip to see the fam and so yesterday at 7:30 a.m. we found ourselves on the road to St. Louis again. Yeah, yeah, we heard about the potential for some freezing rain in Indiana starting about the time we’d be going through there but, you know, we got rid of all our bad car travel juju in November, right?


We hit Indianapolis about noon. Everything was fine. Then about 10 minutes later, I noticed the side winds were moving my car in a noticeable way. Yup. Ice. Then a big Jeep SUV went flying by us, swerving all over on the ice. We saw him minutes later in ditch. A few minutes later a giant four wheel drive truck went flying by us (we were going 30 on the highway for obvious reasons). Just as he got about 100 feet in front of us, he realized everyone else on the highway was going slower than him, hit his brakes and proceeded to completely lose control of his behemoth. He took out three other cars before spinning out into the median sans his back tire and some side panels. He wiped out a minivan and a couple of other cars, smashing their windows and sending them into the ditch.

What was I doing during all this? Pumping my brakes gingerly, shedding speed as cautiously as I could. Right as I entered the carnage, the seas parted and we threaded the needle, slipping between all the smashed cars and then continuing on unscathed.


About 15 minutes later, we found ourselves stopped in an unmoving traffic jam. For the next 7 and a half hours, we moved one mile. SEVEN AND A HALF HOURS. The other side of the highway opened up at some point during that time but highways all around Indy were packed full of unmoving cars parked on ice sheets. At one point I was so bored that I got out and did powerslides on the ice glaze that coated the road. We saw several people get out of their cars to pee only to fall on their ass on the wet ice. We laughed because, after several hours of sitting in a car with nothing to do, anything is entertaining.

At around 8:30, thirteen hours after leaving home, we found a hotel room in Terra Haute, Indiana and hunkered down for the night.

There is, apparently, an endless supply of bad car travel juju.

Who knew?

I’m just sayin’…