Snowed In (Sort Of)

So I knew the weather was going to be bad today, but I figured the state DOT would be all over it and it would just be a normal slow commute.

Um, whoops.

Here’s a timeline of my disastrous effort to make the 30.1 mile trip from Manchester to work (normal average driving time: 42 minutes). I left my condo exactly 2 hours and 32 minutes before my show meeting, which I figured would be enough time to make this trip. MASSIVE FAIL!

3:28 p.m.: step out of my condo and into my car; start car, then get out and begin cleaning off snow.

3:35 p.m.: snow cleared off; pull out of driveway

3:42 p.m.: get stuck for first time, trying to make right turn from Parker Street onto Middle Turnpike. Eventually get out and make turn.

3:57 p.m.: get onto I-84 -- so far, I’m only about 10 minutes behind my normal pace, about what I expected

4:10 p.m.: after making it from the exit 60 on-ramp through exit 58 with little problem (relatively), 84 becomes completely backed up.

4:26 p.m.: I e-mail work to let them know I’m in near-total gridlock.

4:40 p.m.: I e-mail work again, to let them know I’ve moved less than half a mile since my last e-mail.

4:45 p.m.: Having spent the last 10 minutes or so in park, I let work know that I’m not going to make my 6pm meeting.

5:34 p.m.: nearly one hour later, and still barely past exit 57, I alert work that I’m still trying to make progress, but that they should come up with a plan b

5:43 p.m.: I see a highway alert that they’ve closed I-84 in Hartford. At this point, the possibility of me making it to Bristol is erased. I’m told by work to turn around and head home. Now, it’s just a matter of doing that.

6:14 p.m.: I change lanes, moving from the right to the middle. Still no real forward movement at this point.

6:20 p.m.: I realize I should have stayed in the right lane, since exit 56 is a right exit, and would get me to Route 44, so I could at least head home.

6:30 p.m.: I realize the lane I’m in is irrelevant, since 84 resembles a snowy parking lot at this point.

6:45 p.m.: we start to get some forward movement, as people make a move for the left exits leading to Route 2 and downtown Hartford.

6:50 p.m.: a gap opens up in the left lane and I cut through it, moving into the exit lane, which allows me to actually drive about 20 miles per hour.

6:52 p.m.: I see that the on-ramp to Route 2 is in park mode as well, so I pass that and take the downtown Hartford exit.

6:54 p.m.: At the end of the world’s longest off-ramp, I make a couple of illegal turns (like anyone cares about that at this point) and get back onto the on-ramp to I-84 East

6:55 p.m.: PooZ calls, so I talk to him for about 5 minutes.

7:01 p.m.: Right after I get off the phone with PooZ -- mostly so I can pay attention to the road, which isn’t that bad heading back east -- my Fantasy Football co-owner calls. We discuss strategy. That’s right. In the middle of a blizzard while on the highway I was on the phone talking Fantasy Football. I have problems.

7:17 p.m.: I reach exit 63 and get off the highway. So for those keeping track, that’s 2 hours and 57 minutes on the highway heading West, and 23 minutes on the highway heading East. And the East trip was 3 more miles than the West trip, since I used exit 63 on my way home, instead of exit 60.

7:19 p.m.: I pull into the gas station to buy some dinner, since I don’t really have much food.

7:26 p.m.: I get stuck in the snow leaving the gas station. A quick reverse and shift into drive later, I’m out of the snow and back on the road.

7:35 p.m.: Exactly 4 hours after I pulled out of my driveway on my way to work I walk back into my condo. So that’s 4 hours of driving to get to the Eastern edge of Hartford and back. D’oh.

So I’m now at home, logged on to our VPN, doing what I can to help the people at work. I hate snow so much. I’m moving to Ecuador.