Climbing That Mountain, Part 1

Why do my trips always seem to start so stressfully?

I originally planned to leave work by 3:00-3:30 yesterday, so that I'd have time to get home, eat dinner, load up the car, and get on the road by 5:00 at the latest. And be able to do so in a leisurely and relaxed manner.

But then the client wants a 3:30 conference call to talk about status on the project. Then the client wants a couple minor revisions to the prototype before I leave. So now it's 4:30 before I get out of work. Now I'm rushing home, inhaling dinner, loading up the car in a rush (thankfully I didn't forget anything) and getting on the road after 6:00.

The drive Thursday night went fine, smooth and flawless. Until around Buffalo. Then the freezing rain started. My goal had been to get as far as Rochester that night, and I made it. But I had to push it past 11:00 to do so, and the road conditions got pretty hairy. Everything was coated in a sheet of ice, I almost fell and busted my ass several times getting from my car to the Bates Motel off the turnpike I ended up staying in.

It warmed up enough this morning that the treacherous ice was gone when I got on the road, but it didn't last. as I passed from New York into Vermont the rain turned to freezing rain, let up for a bit, then became snow. The further I got, the worse the snow got. New Hampshire got hit with a pretty good blizzard today. Convenient, that.

So a good chunk of the drive was spent crawling along at 15-20 mph along barely plowed and completely unsalted mountain roads. Going uphill, I could barely get traction. Going downhill, it was basically a controlled slide the whole way. And by “controlled” I mean “keeping my foot on the break pedal for hours and praying I don't slide off a cliff somewhere.”

So today's commute went from the expected 7-8 hours to nearly 10. The latter 5 or so hours of which were a big bag of white-knuckle please-don't-slide-off-the-road stress.

But then I had dinner. And some wine. And some desert. And some cappuccino. Now I'm feeling much better.

But my ass is still sore.