So the next day (Saturday, February 6) we had a slow start leaving the hotel because we were watching the weather channel for an hour and then went to the lobby to do some research online and look at the interstate cameras (which showed bad road conditions!!). Despite seeing all the accidents and weather forecasts on the weather channel and seeing the live traffic cams that all suggested we wait at least another day before driving, dad decided we could make the drive home. A crazy drive it was....mom gave me her ipod touch to play games and distract me from the craziness/heart attack waiting to happen! The roads were barely scraped in a lot of places, most parts of the interstate only had one lane open and when there were two lanes the tracks were so close to each other that one little mistake and it would have been pretty nasty! After driving for almost 3 hours (on a drive that usually takes 1-1.5 hours in good weather) we were finally 6 miles from our exit when we came to a dead halt! After calling a friend who can see the interstate from her house we found out that there was an accident on the exit ramp we needed to take! Back in December when VA got the other big snow there was also an accident in the same place on the interstate and they were stuck there for 13 hours before the accident was cleared up! However, after the accident was cleared up the cars were still stuck because so much snow had accumulated between the parked vehicles. Lucky for us we only sat in the traffic for an hour before moving ever so slightly, just enough to get us to a police cross through, allowing us to hop on 81S to go back to the last exit and take the secondary roads home. Some of the secondary roads were in better shape than parts of the interstate (certain counties don't spend the money to plow the roads and the interstate through those counties were the worst!!). When we made it to our back roads they hadn't been plowed at all....and those last 3 miles home were probably the craziest/scariest part of our trip home! There was about 24-28 inches of snow and we could tell a truck or two had ventured down the road leaving us a path, kind of. With some slipping and sliding (less than I thought we'd have) we finally made it to our driveway, which obviously hadn't been plowed at all....Dad just gunned it down the driveway and plowed his own path! HOME! Finally. 4 hours later (remember this is only a 1.5 hour drive normally). Well, once inside we discovered that the power was out.....we were without power for about 3 hours - thank goodness for the generator to get things warm and working! *Surprisingly we didnt see any accidents happen on our way home! but when mom and I went out today (since dad plowed all the roads) we saw an accident happen - the guy just got sucked into the shoulder into the pile of snow)
the accident on 81N we sat in for an hour before turning around on 81S and taking secondary roads home
The next day mom and I walked around to photograph the beautiful snow - this one was taken from the safety of our front porch! The spruce tree was our family Christmas tree in 1990.