Take the long way home
By Liz Dadson


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It's difficult to imagine why anyone would have been on the roads last Monday.

I mean, for once the forecast was spot-on. It was snowy, windy and cold - typical winter weather, with blowing and drifting snow across every roadway between Kincardine and London.

And yet, we were on a mission to return our daughter and her friend to Fanshawe College, with their classes set to begin the next day at 9 a.m.

It was not a day for cowards, or for those of us who had been devoid of snow - blowing or otherwise - for most of October to December.

However, the brain has a way of pushing aside memories of winters past, of closed roads, blinding snow and intense white-outs.

So, the six of us jumped into the family van with the back full of college student paraphernalia, and off we went on our first winter adventure since the end of April

We had a couple of difficult moments on the way down but it cleared up and the trip to London was fairly uneventful for a snowy day. We made a side trip to visit my husband's aunt and her family in Springfield, near Aylmer, and journeyed back amid slow traffic along Highway 401.

We stopped for supper, dropped off our daughter and her friend at the college, put gas in the van, and headed home, and that's when the real fun began.

You know you're in for interesting weather when it's storming in London. White-outs are disconcerting enough on a city street, let alone in the middle of rural nowhere in total, utter blackness.

It was tough slogging along Highway 4, especially from Exeter to Clinton. Fortunately, my husband was driving, all I had to do was watch the right side of the roadway and ensure we weren't in the ditch.

We stopped several times to clear ice off the windshield, and snow from the headlights and tail-lights.

Once we reached the south end of Clinton and headed for Auburn, the weather cleared up for a spell. However, as we neared Lucknow, we were back into the blowing and drifting snow. It was a slow, long drive home.

We reached Amberley and turned north to travel home on Highway 21, but there were extensive drifts across the road, so we opted to head for Point Clark instead.

It was clearer along there without the horizontal snow. We reached the intersection of the 4th concession and Lake Range Drive and had just turned north, when my husband hit the brakes and the van skidded to a stop.

Across the road ran a deer. Thanks to the OPP warnings about deer travelling in groups, we stayed put, and sure enough, three more deer ran across the road.

You'd think we'd had enough to contend with during the long, snowy, treacherous ride home, without deer crossing the road. I mean what were they doing out on the road anyway?

Better question: what were WE doing out on the road?

Anyway, all's well that ends well. We arrived home, safe and sound, and I even had a couple of winter storm videos to post on-line.

Ah, life in the fast lane!

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Friday, January 06, 2012