Lisa and I had heard about the possibility of snow here in central Georgia over the weekend. Most of the forecasts were predicting very small amounts which we paid little attention to. Our concern (as it has been since arriving here at Stone Mountain Park) has been the temperatures. Having already survived six degrees and below zero wind chills in early January and surviving our water leak this past weekend that was nearly catastrophic – we were both just wanting warm temperatures. The Mohave Desert was sounding very good.
By Monday evening (1/27) the snow event was a near certainty but Lisa, thinking two inches of snow was no big deal, headed on to work Tuesday morning. The temperatures throughout the morning stayed in the high twenties and my thoughts were that the snow event would be minor. I stopped to talk to a friend here in the campground (Roger) who was from North Dakota and we laughed at the near panic reaction of most here in the area. Many of the school systems had cancelled classes for the day while others were shutting down early. Around two in the afternoon I began to see traces of a few flakes and very quickly the snow began to fall – heavy. Uh-oh! It looked like the kind of snow that was going to set in for hours and I began to fear Lisa could be in trouble trying to get home. Maybe this event was actually going to be worse than anyone had predicted. Was it ever.
Lisa had called me earlier laughing at the reaction of her co-workers who, she said, were in absolute panic mode. These people in Atlanta had not seen much snow in their lives and as schools and businesses began shutting down – the interstate and highways in the area began filling up. By three o’clock all major thoroughfares in and around the city were in absolute gridlock. In the midst of all that commotion – Lisa was trying to get back to our cabin in the woods. This was not good.
Her trip from Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale to our campground at Stone Mountain requires her to utilize three major roads – Interstate 75, the 285 By-Pass, and Highway 78. The entire trip is thirty-three miles and only four of those miles are on interstate 75. Those four miles would end up taking Lisa over two hours to get through. We talked on the phone as she inched along and gave me the play-by-play of the idiot drivers who had no idea how to drive on dry pavement let alone two inches of snow which was very quickly to ice. She finally made it to the 285 exit and was very excited to hit thirty miles per hour for some of that stretch. Finally – after three hours and a lot of pacing on my part – she arrived back at our RV where we would spend the next day and half watching the news and counting our blessings. As the night dragged on traffic grew much worse all around the city and many, many drivers would be stranded for up to twenty hours. Cars were abandoned and people slept in grocery stores and hotel lobbies. School buses were stranded with freezing students that would have to be rescued by the National Guard. Some students had to spend the night at school since parents could not get to them. This two inch snow had shut down Atlanta, Georgia. In fact – by six o’clock the entrance and road leading to our campground closed to traffic so we were stuck – but very, very lucky. The fact that Lisa got home in three hours was due to God’s grace and her decision to leave work at the moment that she did. Had she waited another thirty minutes – she may have been one of those sleeping at Home Depot.
Will this winter ever end? We are sick of fighting this weather here in our RV and are hoping the forecast for temperatures in the sixties by this weekend are accurate. Lisa and I have learned one thing about RV living – it is easier to live in an RV in hot weather than in cold. We would have never said that back in June when we first arrived in Kingman Arizona and were dealing with 115 degree heat. But as difficult as it was to keep the thing cool in the Mohave Desert – it is a nightmare trying to deal with harsh winter conditions – RV’s and winter just don’t go together – I don’t care how much you pay or how thermal they declare them to be. We have fought frozen water lines, water leaks, empty propane tanks, snow, white ice, black ice, white idiot drivers, black idiot drivers, no bread, no milk, no patience – and that was just this morning. Lisa did make it back to work today and it looks like things will soon be back to normal – we hope.
While all this was going on – my friend from Las Vegas (JC) called saying he had been watching the news about the disaster in Atlanta and was wanting to know if we were surviving. I appreciate his concern but it really was not necessary for him to tell me the high temperature there yesterday was 70 degrees with a low in the mid-fifties.
I don’t like him anymore.
Thawing Out! Steve and Lisa