Road trip to the heart of Texas -Part I: A hairy drive to Austin

Maybe the Mayans and Nostradamus are right. Maybe the end of the world is drawing nigh. An ice storm followed by a snow storm in Dallas left the city covered with an inch thick sheet of ice and a foot of snow on Super Bowl weekend -or maybe even thicker. This was the weekend we chose to meet our friends in Austin.

We were hesitant to brave the inclement weather. But what the hell. We decided we would risk going out and drive as far as we could without winter tyres. As a matter of fact, we made it all the way to Austin.

Our street

Our street was a sea of white. Practically the only visible objects were the traffic lights. Sean steered the car deftly towards the Dallas Tollway, which was tolerably drivable. There were more cars than I imagined. Traffic was slow because there were a couple of snow ploughs and gritters clearing the snow. It was a bit boring but at least was safe. What seems like a good idea at the time turned out to be a mistake: exiting the Tollway to overtake the convoy using the slip road was dicey because it was very icy (and it rhymes too.)

Somewhat redundant warning signs...

Sean has experience driving on snow and ice and drove very carefully, never breaking suddenly or making brusque manoeuvres. But the same could not be said about other drivers. Some were texting, taking pictures of the signs that warned about icy roads (it was kind of ironic, though,) chatting on the phone or with their companions as if it were a normal day. Oh yes, and doing the same stupid things people do on a daily basis like not signalling when changing lanes. I’m not sure some people should be allowed behind the wheel.

Chunks of ice flew from the roof of the sixteen wheelers that rumbled past us, their wheels splattering slush all over our windscreen blocking our view. That was the really scary part.

The snow and ice followed (and preceded us) as far as Waco (yes, THAT Waco,) where it began to disappear gradually. In a way, it was a pity because the snow made the countryside and even industrial areas look quite pretty, especially when the sun was out and the ice glistened in the bright light.

Magic light on the road

 

 

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Published by

Ana

Hi, I'm Ana. I'm originally from Argentina but I'm currently living in Dallas (USA) with my British husband. I'd like to share my experiences as an expat and as a traveller.

7 thoughts on “Road trip to the heart of Texas -Part I: A hairy drive to Austin”

  1. An adventure on the road! It looks and sounds familiar – except for the careless driving that is not (thank God) common here: everyone is very careful.
    Good thing you made it all the way to Austin and to your friends!

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  2. In my home state of Pennsylvania, truck drivers are mandated to clean the ice and snow off their rigs. If a huge piece of ice comes flying off the top of one of those trucks and through your windshield, you can kiss your life goodbye. People usually drove pretty cautiously in snow/ice storms back home. Maybe it’s because we’re more accustomed to them than Texans?

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    1. I’m sure people back East and North are more savvy than Texans when it comes to winter driving. We get snow twice a winter and that’s understandable. And I’m not sure we have such regulations, I should check.
      But still, common sense indicates that texting and driving (under any circumstance) is not a good combination…

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  3. I still can’t believe you went out in this. Me and Karl were home saying “Oh man they will have to cancel” Kudos to some good driving so you could have a safe return in order to write this!!!!!

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