The driving snowstorm last Tuesday resulted in an "eventful" evening commute for residents across the Chippewa Valley.
While I recognize that many people likely ran into more difficulties than me, I was moved to tell the story of my night in a rare post on Facebook, along with a photo of a yardstick showing the 11 inches of snow covering my driveway.
Here is my post:
"My night: Left office at 6:15 p.m. Brushed 8 inches of snow off car and was relieved to get out of parking lot. Pushed car of woman stuck at first intersection. Turned on Madison Street only to see road blocked by three police cars with flashing lights. Did u-turn and took slow trip home. Saw group of 15 people shoveling a street. Passed up photo to avoid getting stuck or hit.
"Made it through increasingly deep, unplowed roads only to get stuck at end of own driveway. Shoveled all around and under it. Still stuck. No family home to push. Walked through 11 inches of snow in my work shoes down 60-yard-long driveway to house to change clothes and head back out. Snowblower started right up — yippee! Blew path down driveway. Waved at kind guy in pickup who stopped and pushed me out. Parked in garage. Kept blowing snow. Cleaned up a bit with shovel. Finally went inside for good at 8:50 p.m. Drank a beer.
"So how was your night?"
As is often the case with social media, the fun part was reading the comments. They ranged from a GIF of Samantha from "Bewitched" casting a spell for winter to go away and genuine expressions of sympathy to folks from warmer climates rubbing it in and several people sharing their own tales of winter woe from that infamous night.
A number of people also commented about the importance of the beer. (Does that say something about me or the people I hang out with?)
Just among people in the Leader-Telegram office, I heard stories of people who got stuck in the parking lot, aborted their attempts to drive up hills leading out of downtown, got stuck in their own driveways, heard from spouses stranded in traffic on a city bridge for an hour and endured commutes at least five times as long as usual. The worst might have been a woman who said it took her 2½ hours — long enough to get nearly to Madison on a normal day — just to drive the roughly 35 miles from her job in Eau Claire to her home in Stanley.
Not to be outdone, my 24-year-old daughter managed to have her car slide into a ditch after the snowstorm two days later. Thankfully, neither she nor my old car were harmed (other than perhaps a slightly bruised ego), although the vehicle was buried deep enough that it had to be extracted by a tow truck.
With several more days of snow in the forecast this week, here's hoping for a smoother ride for everybody.