I can’t believe I haven’t told the aaaaawwwwww story yet. It’s called the aaaawwwwww story because that’s the noise girls usually make after I tell them the story. I personally think of it by the other name, HOLY SH*T I’M GONNA DIE, because in the story that was pretty much the main thought going through my head.
Ok let me set it up for you. It was February, Hubby and I had been married almost a year and were moving from Washington to California. We had sold my little Subaru ‘Oliver’, I miss you Oliver! Packed up a U-Haul and took off on the I-5. Hubby was in charge of driving the U-Haul with all our worldly possessions and I followed in our truck with CIA Cat.
We hit the Oregon pass around 7am and it was foggy, like really foggy, like can’t see 10 feet in front of you foggy. But luckily there weren’t really any other cars on the Interstate. I could just about make out the back of the U-Haul when suddenly my truck slid over 2 lanes “What the Fu..!?” and then the truck slid back to the original lane. Oh Shit, I knew what was happening. I had been told the horrifying stories by others who had experienced this… BLACK ICE.
I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced Black Ice, but let me just say, it sucks. You can’t see it, it’s slippery as hell, and all it wants to do is hurt you. But I had been raised in the Northwest, so I knew what to do. I just needed to get off the ice WITHOUT touching my brakes. Once you touch your brakes on Black Ice you’re fucked, royally. So I saw an off-ramp coming up and carefully steered the truck towards it. But as it got closer I realized I was going too fast for the turn right after the ramp… s0… I tapped the brake. I KNOW, stupid! But I was freaked and obviously fear had replaced common sense. So now my truck is donuting down the I-5.
It’s at this time that Hubby looks in his side mirror and sees the truck spinning uncontrollably and disappearing into the fog. Hubby hits the brakes and luckily he was either not on Black Ice or too weighed down but the U-Haul was able to gradually comes to a stop on the side of the road. He jumped out of the truck and sprinted back up the Interstate toward me, leaving the U-Haul door wide open with the keys in the ignition.
Ok, so back to me doing pirouettes down the I-5. I attempted to steer myself out of the spin to no avail. I then realized that the truck was heading towards the shoulder. Good, I thought, I’ll finally stop and then just drive on the shoulder to catch up with Hubby. Sadly I had forgotten that while spinning I hadn’t slowed down from my original speed of 65 and once I hit the dirt sideways the truck, containing me and CIA Cat, was airborne.
There are two things I remember in that moment. I remember putting my hands on the ceiling thinking “Shit, we just got our tires realigned and I’m pretty sure I’m about to fuck it up” AND “huh look at that CIA Cat is flying and she does not look happy about it”.
The truck landed hard and the momentum continued to carry it over sideways, but before it started its inevitable rolling something miraculous happened… it stopped. It teetered on two wheels for what felt like forever and then slowly fell back down on all four. I sat there in shock.
After some hard breathing I turned the ignition and the truck started up. I carefully put it in gear and began slowly driving down the side of the road. Everything was ok, no clunky noises from a screwed suspension, no thump thump of flat tires. I was totally in shock, then I saw a man running down the opposite side of the road. I remember thinking “I don’t think you’re allowed to jog on the I-5”. He then started waving his arms at me, so I waved back at him. He was yelling something, so I rolled down my window.
Hubby: BABE!! STOP!!
Me: Hubby? Why are you jogging on the I-5?
Me: Why are you..
Hubby: I HEARD YOU! STOP THE TRUCK, I’M COMING OVER.
Only he couldn’t, there was so much Black Ice on the road that he couldn’t keep his footing to come across. So he did what I like to think any other hubby would do; when they thought they were going to find their wife dead in a crumpled heap of a truck, but then found out she wasn’t dead but alive and fine, only now they were separated by an interstate of ice… he got down on his hands and knees and crawled across the I-5 to get to me, nearly getting taken out by a red Honda Accord sliding by sideways.
Me: You almost got it by a car!
Hubby: Babe, are you okay?
It was those words that most have broken through my haze of shock, because suddenly everything that had happened came crashing down on me and I started crying. I mean really crying, hysterical can’t breathe crying, and I wasn’t the only one affected by Hubby’s voice. CIA Cat popped her head out from beneath the passenger side seat, her hiding spot after the unexpected flying experience, and began screeching at him.
Hubby opened the door, pushed me over, patted CIA Cat’s head and slowly drove us to the U-Haul truck ,which thank the lord no one had stolen while he was on his jog.
So there you go, my aaaawwwwwww – HOLY SHIT story.
I feel for ya. I was born, raised, and am still residing in ‘icy’ Iowa. I used to drive for Wells Fargo when they still had the big, armored trucks we drivers referred to as ‘Big Reds’, and those things are hard to brake completely on dry pavement, let alone the ice. I had a few moments in those that scared me, but never so much as I’ve had driving my own vehicle at times while ‘planing’ across lanes. Glad you and CIA Cat got out in one piece!
Ya I’d delt with normal ice before but black ice was a whole new thing for me. Hubby thinks my tire sank in the dirt but then hit permafrost and that stopped the truck from rolling. LUCKY!
I give you an Awwww for flying CIA Cat (the picture was fabulous) and a HOLY S**T Batman! for the rest of the story. I’m from Black Ice country and I know it’s evil powers. I’m glad you’re here to tell the story!
Really!?! Hubby doesn’t get an aaawwwww for crawling on his hands and knees to get to me?? Tough crowd, tough crowd ;-P
WOW that is crazy. Because I saw the picture I totally was picturing the cat like that. OMG im from San Antonio, TX and we don’t get ice or snow or anything. I would have totally freaked out. Back in Dec or Jan it actually snowed here and the city shut down. Well it felt like that. Glad you were ok, the cat, and even the cat. I don’t know what you believe in, but there was definitely a higher power there with you. I’m glad because then I wouldn’t be enjoying these great post. :0)
That really IS a “holy shit” story! Ohio has some mean black ice, too. In fact, I have an inside joke with my father-in-law where he tells me to “watch out for that black ice” even in the summer.
YAY! I love in side jokes… except when you’re on the outside of the in side joke… *sniff* it’s ok… I didn’t want to be part of the fun *sob*
Living in northern Minnesota, black ice is as common as regular ice and I have the stained underwear to prove it! Many years ago, my daughter was driving our Jeep (before she had her license…it took her 9 years to get it….don’t ask) and we were on the highway headed into work and just as we were accelerating up to 65mph, we hit black ice and started spinning like the girl’s head in the Exorcist….I am SCREAMING out to Jesus to save us and my daughter is calmly trying to do what you are supposed to do, mainly take your foot off the gas and hang on! After what seemed like a lifetime, the Jeep stopped spinning and was even facing the right way. I told her to pull over to the side of the road, that I was going to drive. I asked her what was going through her head while we were spinning around and she said, “All I could think of was; taking my foot off the gas and that we were going to die”.
The next day I was driving the same Jeep and really was going a bit too fast as I crested a hill and there below me was a line of vehicles all stopped at the red light and when I went to hit the brakes, there was my friend, Death by Black Ice, again and I was still going straight but at 60mph headed for two lanes of cars. Once again, I screamed for protection and braced for the impact with the knowledge that, “Shit, this is gonna be bad” and at the last possible moment, I hit the shoulder and was able to stop without losing control of the Jeep. I bet the people who were last in line, if they were looking in their rear view mirrors were praying also!
These are just a few stories of the “Dance of Death” involving black ice I have had in my 62 years of life! I am very fortunate as I have had acquaintances be killed or in horrific accidents because of it. Hate that stuff.