The View From Wisconsin

Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sliding Away

The weather up here in Northern Wisconsin has taken a turn for the strange today.

Instead of the usual snow we get when the temps rise, we're starting to see rain. That wouldn't be bad, if it wasn't for a few things:
  1. The temperature is hovering right at 32 degrees F.
  2. The wind is coming from the East and making that 32 F feel more like 21 F.
  3. The surface of many roads are already slightly melted from the minor warmup we had yesterday.
This afternoon, I was heading out to get some groceries we hadn't gotten the last time we'd done the shopping. No real problems getting out of our complex, and it didn't appear that the road that leads out to our "main drag" was that bad.

However: I started to stop for the intersection at the end of the road, and discovered something: black ice. What was worse, the last part of the intersection is an incline down to the main highway. So not only was I sliding, I was picking up speed.

The view to the left is obstructed by a roadhouse-like corner tap that has a small parking lot built into the side of road (something I've discovered is common here in NC Wisconsin). I had two brief thoughts as I was sliding: first, I was gonna get broadsided by some logging truck as it came down the road. Second, I wasn't gonna be able to stop once I got to the main highway, and I was going to slide right across the road.

And through the guard rail, and into the Wisconsin River.

Which, at this intersection, was about a good 30-40 foot drop from the other side of the road.

I think I swerved and threw my car into "Park", which locked up my wheels enough to cause me to stop - at about an 80 degree angle to the direction of travel. Very carefully, after finally breathing again, I reversed out of there and slowly went down to the stop sign, and turned right onto the main highway. There were no cars coming from the west, thankfully, so that wouldn't have been a worry.

Still - I don't know how much longer I can take this weather up here.