That's the day we drove west to Indianapolis to stay the night before we flew to Florida. We gassed up at Casey's on the east part of town and left the parking lot at 11:45 am. Eleven and a half hours later we finally arrived at the Hyatt Place near the airport.
It was the ice storm. A damn ice storm.
When we left Chucktown, freezing rain was coming down, but it wasn't too bad. But as we drove farther, it got horrible.
On I-70 we went slow, with me driving in the range of 25 to 40 mph depending on the nature of the road. It was slick in many spots, and it was apparent that the salt trucks hadn't been out much, if at all.
As we ventured into Indiana, Mrs. Nasty called her work friend who has connections with the tv station based in Terre Haute. Her friend relayed that she had been told that part of I-70 had been shut down because the interstate was so icy that the big rigs could get up the hills. So the friend suggested that we take Indiana highway 40 East and then cross over to I-70 at Plainfield.
Terre Haute's roads weren't too bad, but past Brazil, IN it got really messy with frequent stops as cars and semis went up hills in packs. Some couldn't make it up the hills, and cars dotted the ditches.
After we passed over a number of gauntlets of ice-slicked hills, we stopped for good at the top of a hill right next to the Putnamville Correctional Facility. We sat there for a good two hours. Most of us just sat, but some cars crept up and u-turned. After we got confirmation that I-70 was "open," we turned around also, ventured back to Brazil, grabbed some grub, and headed south to I-70.
But is was deja vu all over again. We went for maybe a mile until we hit gridlock. We sat on I-70 for two and a half hours. And then the our icy journey went forward in spurts and pervasive tension.
When we finally got past the Cloverdale exit, things opened up. I-70 East was like much easier sledding with less traffic. But as we drove though, I noticed that I-70 West was packed, bumper-to-bumper, from Cloverdale exit to I-465, which is 32 miles.
It was the worst driving experience of my life: constant stress and tension as I drove a car that I seemed to control, but occasionally it slipped and slid depending on the road as I had to worry about those in front of me and back of me. I've never seen so many semi-trucks in one day.