Monday, January 23, 2006

And my life flashed before my eyes...

This is the posting also known as "How Lyndsay and I tried to go to the Trent Students for Literacy Conference".

So, woke up at 6:30 on Saturday morning, very excited to be finally going to this conference. SFLO is invited every year - and there is always some reason we don't make it. So no excuses this year! Anyway, I look out into a powdery white wonderland. Looked a bit like this:



And I thought to myself, "Self, will this stop my plans for the day? Heck no. I will drive carefully, and more slowly and will enjoy the splendor of a day in the glorious best of Canadian winter."

So off I went to pick up Lyndsay. We briefly discussed if we thought it was still feasible to go with the weather. The network had discussed how the weather would improve. So we thought we`d give it a go. If it got bad, we'd turn around. No worries.

Off we go. Driving is alright. Managed to go along at about 70 km an hour. So it was good that we left early. Trent is about 2.5-3.0 hours away in good weather. But we had enough time.

But it just kept snowing and snowing and snowing. Think this:



and this:



and then some more of this:



End result was was a lot of still pretty snow. Like this:



Really - felt good to be Canadian. Someone who knew how to drive in these conditions. Responsibly. Can`t phase me!

So made it to Carleton Place and Perth without incident. Stopped at the Golden Arches for some coffee. We missed the Timmy's - believe by this stage it may have been under this:



And we were not deterred by the three cars in ditches (some surrounded by cop cars with flashing lights) that we had passed between Carleton Place and Perth. We were being careful. Had slowed to about 55 km. We`d be late, but we`d make it.

The sky had gone from its nice blue to looking like this:



But not to worry! All was good..... until we left Perth. The car went from driving nice and slow and straight, to losing control and 360ing a few times across four lanes of traffic towards a pole and/or ditch. Anyhoo - thankfully no traffic (ie: no cars to hit) and miraculously the car stopped before hitting the pole or falling in the ditch. After my heart calmed down, we concluded this was a sign from on high that maybe driving into the worsening storm for another two hours to reach Trent might not be the wisest course of action. We drove slowly back to Perth in weather that suddenly seemed to look like this:



Stopped in at Timmy`s for, well, a while. To calm down. Began praying the snow might end so I wouldn`t have to drive home in it. But no luck.

Get back in car after dusting the small mountain of heavy wet snow off it. Really - spent about a half hour in Timmy`s and the car looked like this:



Drove home slowly, in driving like this:



And past much of this:



Drove off the road again. But only a one-eighty - which by this stage was child's play. All that evasive driving training was totally paying off! If I hadn`t been ready to cry I'm sure I would have really appreciated that fact. Somewhat surprised Lyndsay stayed in the car with me by this stage. ("Wow, outer limits of Ottawa Louise! That's great, you can let me off here - I'll just walk the last 40 clicks home!"

But anyway - we got back to Ottawa in one piece. Considered renting a nice light movie to help me unwind. Something like this:



But ended up just collapsing on the couch with a beer and watching whatever was on until passing out (not from one beer for the record - but by that stage REALLY - anything was possible.

My only worry now is whether Frontier College will be covering my gas considering my lack of committment in actually making it to the Trent conference. Funny how my excitement at being alive is kind of over-riding that concern at the moment. One of our volunteers I believe actually made it to the conference - so hopefully we will have an update from her posted here soon.

Louise

PS: Have a series of news updates to post later on today or tomorrow. But I think I'll take a break for now. Go celebrate still being in one piece with a bagel and coffee.

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