Jay Hova (jayhova) wrote,
Jay Hova
jayhova

My trip home from Austin Thursday night

I go up to Austin for the day Wednesday and plan to come home Thursday afternoon. As it happens my plans to leave get delayed and I stay in Austin until well after sundown. The weather in Austin is not so bad so I don't think anything of it when I leave to go home. Thirty minutes or so into my drive I'm encountering freezing drizzle. Not actually rain just enough to get spots on the windshield that pretty much freeze after landing. By the time I am though Bastrop, I have a sheet of ice on my windshield and I stop to get some washer fluid. From then till I get nearly to Columbus the ice is getting bad and I can only really see out of the bottom on my windshield where the defroster can warm it up enough to keep it ice free.

As I get to the last mile before I-10 I am crossing a bridge when I encounter a phenomenon pilots refer to as departure from controlled flight. I am going alone at highway speeds (just like everyone else at that point) when the Jeep starts turning to the left and moving to the right. This continues until I kiss the right hand part of the bridge going 65 MPH. At that point the vehicle is turning the other way and heading in the opposite direction. until I hit un-iced pavement going sideways. I straighten the car and continue on when I notice something very odd in the way the car is driving. I pull over and notice that both of my back tires are nearly flat and the sudden sideways maneuver caused them to pull off the rim a bit and loose air pressure. I get the electric tire pump out and start it going. It takes a while as it is pretty much junk. After 10-15 minutes I decide to pull to the other side of the road so I can see the other tire. Unfortunately, turning causes the other tire to completely pull off the rim. AAA estimates it will be another hour before they get there. So I go out and try to jack up the car. Meanwhile, AAA calls with an update (now thirty minutes later telling me that it will be another hour. Unfortunately, the jack I have is missing the handle so I have to make do. After 2 attempts I get the back wheel high enough off the ground so that I can pull on it while the air pump is going and I eventually get the tire back on the rim and inflated.

Okay, so now I figure I'm alright. I-10 is a major highway and they will have sanded all the bridges. To my great chagrin I only went a few miles when again my car spins, this time leaving me in a ditch facing the oncoming traffic. When I tried to move forward I found that my wheels just spun. I found the only direction I could move was backwards further down into the ditch. After a short while I was able to get the Jeep moving along the ditch and I waited for my chance to pull onto the road again. I was able to get back on and the car slid around 180 degrees and was again facing the direction of traffic. At this point I found I could only go 20 MPH. Any faster would cause mt rear end to slide sideways out from behind me. After four more hours of driving on icy roads I finally got home a bit over six hours after I leave Austin.
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