Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Blizzard

On Monday, December 22, Claire and I headed out from Chicago toward Detroit. It was below zero as we scraped the car in Chicago, but the roads were fine as we headed out of Illinois. As soon as we hit the Michigan border, we were greeted with gusting winds that made visibility very poor as depicted in the first photo. At first it wasn't evening snowing, but was blowing the champagne poweder from the median onto the road. We planned to pull off for lunch, but just before our exit got stuck in stand-still traffic for close to an hour. Shortly thereafter, everyone was shuttled off the interstate. It turned out it was a nearly 100 car accident that caused the highway to be shut down for several miles. We took side roads for several miles before we were able to get back onto the highway, but the snow blew so badly that we were stuck in total white-outs, with Claire watching the rumble strip out the passenger window to make sure I was creeping along in the lane. We knew it was only going to get worse, and dark was about to set in, so we pulled off at the first exit we could and holed up for the night in a very strange place.

The tiny town of Watervliet (sic) had a new Ramada, which had a waterpark inside. The place was called Safari Joe's and there seemed to be no reason to have a hotel like this in such a small place. We came to realize that the place was basically a trophy room for the owner Joe, who liked to go on safari in Africa and kill exotic animals with a variety of weapons. The most unfortunate part of the event was that the hotel cost more than the room we'd shared with my brother the night before in Chicago on the Magnificent Mile. The place was completely filled, though, because it was nearly impossible to travel. The roads weren't great starting out the next day, as shown in the last photo, but once we made it past Kalamazoo, it was smooth sailing to Detroit.


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