SO this Hurricane Patricia… I’m not a fan. While I’m happy that she’s weakening she gave me hell over the weekend… and I kind of felt like an idiot for not paying closer attention to the news or weather forecast. I knew about the hurricane but I didn’t know it was so close to home and I also failed to realize that it was going to be raining the entire weekend. When it comes to driving in unfamiliar territory I have three major fears: 1) Driving at night because I don’t have 20/20 vision. 2) Driving in rain for the exact same reason. & 3) Driving in between two 18-Wheelers on a highway. This weekend ensured that I would get to experience two of them simultaneously (YAY ME!)
I have a feeling if I had known the severity of the weather beforehand I would have just enjoyed my three days off from work + the weekend at home under a blanket. I’m glad I got to attend the Big Android BBQ for another year but not happy about what I dealt with going home… I headed home around 2PM with enough time to get there around 7PM before the sun went down. I had just stopped to get some coffee and gas up before I headed out of the area, my music was jamming and I was in the zone and then all of a sudden 30 minutes or so into my drive I was caught in traffic due to an I-45 shutdown as a result of flooding. Of course my GPS didn’t have an alternate route for me so I was driving around trying to find detours that kept bringing me right back where I stared. The third time around I somehow manage to actually end up being force to take the I-45 exit where the traffic was piled the worst due to the shutdown. So I freaked, and tried to get off through the grass which was the dumbest idea ever…. I drive a Ford Fusion -_- so needless to say I got stuck and while I was sitting there for all of 2-3 minutes wanting to cry and saying FML I was tempted to just call it a night and sleep in my car right there on the side of the Interstate. Thankfully some guy in cowboy boots came to my rescue in his huge red pickup truck and towed me out, can you say life saver? I love being reminded that random acts of kindness still happen in this world.
Once I got pulled out of the grass and mud my mind was put a little at ease but I was still frustrated about finding a way to get home, I had called my dad and he tried to suggest an alternate route he saw the Texas Department of Transportation post on Facebook… but that wasn’t much help either. So I messaged one of my best friends to see if he was free to talk and called him up. He asked me to send him my location so I got on Google Hangouts and did just that, after getting lost a few times and bypassing the I-45 block only to find another one 20 minutes later. He found another way for me to get straight home even though it would take a little more time. He gave me warnings of areas where I’d go over large bodies of water and where traffic might be stacked up… he was freaking awesome! He also stayed on the phone with me through the majority of my trip which I was grateful for… it made me feel not quite so alone. Driving on a dark highway with no lights but those of the occasional car passing by can be very scary, even more so when you add torrential rain into the mix. My car hydroplaned a few times (thankfully not when I was driving past any vehicles), and the little hills that seemed to pop up out of nowhere scared the crap out of me…. I seriously wanted to pull over and just give up driving for the night but I pushed through it and a whopping 8 hours later I FINALLY made it home.
I’m just happy that I didn’t have a panic attack, there were certainly a few times where I felt like I was a heartbeat away from having one. I have a feeling that I won’t be taking anymore long drives this year, and I will certainly be checking the weather the next time I do some traveling!