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I pounded out this column on Friday as the area was preparing for another round of snow. I won't mind the few inches that were forecast as long as it doesn't turn to ice like it did last Tuesday and moves us one step closer to spring.
For some reason I overslept by nearly an hour that morning while the highway below by my house in New Boston turned into a skating rink. I keep my scanner tuned to traffic in Perry and Spencer counties and when I finally awoke, heard reports of cars in ditches and stranded motorists. One call reported a truck had skidded off the road in front of the New Boston Tavern, just one house down from me. I was missing news right under my nose.
Indiana 545 was certainly one of the trouble spots, with what is dubbed the New Boston hill covered in ice. Cars were off the highway there, as they were in Meunier Curve halfway to Troy and a hill south of Fulda.
Tuesday is a can't-miss day so I knew I had to get to work and I was mad I was already late.
Making it out of the driveway was easy, it's all down hill, but I quickly saw I wasn't going to make it to work by taking the state road. A long line of cars was waiting in midtown New Boston. Though I couldn't see them, there were several slide-offs near the hill. I walked past the tavern. The driver of the truck that had skidded off the road there had managed to drive away, but lots of other motorists didn't know what to do.
A couple of them asked if taking the county roads to the east and west of New Boston might be a good idea. I told them about the hills that were probably just as slick.
A couple of four-wheel-drive trucks passed the line of idled cars, easily making it up the hill.
I convinced myself I could bypass the hill by taking a county-road bypass. As I walked back toward my house, I saw Bruce Badger, superintendent of Tell City's wastewater treatment plant, sitting in his SUV. He had arrived to pick up his wife and her co-worker, both of whom had been unable to reach their jobs in Ferdinand.
Bruce asked about a detour and I told him I'd show him the way. Figuring I could catch a ride from Tell City to New Boston later in the day, I climbed aboard. The county roads were slick but passable. On the way into town, we saw several vehicles that had slid off of the highway, even in relatively level areas. Bruce deposited me at the office and the day's work got done.
I hitched a ride back home that afternoon and collected my car.
I'm not a big fan of winter, especially after the holidays. By each February, I'm already eager for spring and warmer temperatures. No matter how much snow fell Friday night and Saturday, I'm eager for the worst of winter to pass.
There is already reason for optimism. The days are already noticeably longer and Valentine's Day and the start of Lent Feb. 17 aren't far off. The daffodils will be blooming soon and winter snow and cold relegated to the past.