Snow and Ice Can Render You Almost Helpless
I was heading back to Texas down Highway 81 through the state of Nebraska. I had been caught in a snow and ice storm and the traveling was slow. I had planned to travel as long as possible in order to reach Interstate 80, where I knew that I would find a truck stop. My plans were becoming unraveled because of how long it was taking for me to travel.
After I left Yankton, South Dakota and crossed the slick and icy bridge there, I knew that I was going to have to find some other place to shut down for the night. I hated driving on ice, but driving on ice in the dark was even worse.
I made it to Norfolk but I didn’t know the town well enough to know where to find a truck stop, and because of the storm, no one was out or on the CB radio. I continued on slowly towards Columbus, Nebraska hoping that I would be able to locate a place to park just off the highway.
As I slowly climbed up the last hill before Columbus, I noticed headlights in my mirrors. It was a small four wheeler behind me. I’m sure that the driver was hoping that my truck would plow a path towards the town so the car remained close behind. I felt bad that I couldn’t drive my truck any faster up that dangerously icy hill. The four wheeler, however, continued behind me at the slow rate I was traveling.
I couldn’t help but keep an eye on the vehicle in my mirrors, but I was “white knuckling it” with every movement of my truck. Just as I was about to make the top of the hill, I noticed the lights of the vehicle behind me “spinning.” I felt bad for the occupants of the vehicle, but I couldn’t stop to help on that hill with my big truck. I just had to keep going.
When I reached Columbus, I found a little truck stop. It was completely full, of course. I pulled into it anyway and asked the clerk if I could park my truck in the front parking lot until morning. She said that would be fine. I also let her know that a vehicle that was following me had spun out and might need some help. She contacted the sheriff and I’m sure they went out to check.
That night’s rest was well deserved. The only problem I had was when I woke up the next morning. Having only driven my trucks mostly in the south, where it is warm, there were a few things I didn’t know about driving in cold weather. Never park your hot tires on a block of snow and ice. You will find yourself stuck in the morning!