I have never been afraid of winter driving but since my experience with black ice last January, I am very cautious these days. Today, when I drove to my volunteer job at Chisago Lakes Clinic, I was quite unsure if I should have been on the road because traffic was crawling along and Highway 8 was not cleared of snow. I crept along at 20 mph and felt guilty that the school bus behind me wanted me to go faster, but I couldn’t. I still carried the fear I felt when I hit black ice in January.
It was a mild day and a light snow was falling making the scenery very picturesque, but I did keep my eyes on the road as visibility was poor. I was creeping along at 40 mph on #8 just before Center City, when all of a sudden it was like my car had a mind of it”s own, and moved in slow motion across the road, into the other lane. It scraped along knocking over a long stretch of guard rail and then it swung around onto the other lane, faced the opposite direction, and settled in the ditch. During that time, I was thinking that “this is it” and I was terrified. Luckily, I had my cell phone along and called 911.
The officer who came to my assistance was very sympathetic and reassuring. When the tow truck finally arrived to pull me out, I was able to drive my totaled car home, dragging the fender along the road. The police officer said that there were multiple spin outs that morning and he urged me to head home. I was thankful that I was not hurt and that the guard rail did, indeed, protect me from going into the lake.