Oh boy, I knew it. I drank way too much tea before I loaded the boys in the car and took off. I’m on the road for only 1 hour and I need to pee. There are no public restrooms on this highway and only a few businesses on the left side of the road. Definitely not going left because getting back on the road will take several minutes and I don’t like the dirty looks I get for using the bathroom without buying something.
I notice some old rail cars by the side of the road, partially buried in snow. I jump out, clamber over the snow berm and promptly sink up to my knees in snow. The snow is softer than expected. I plow on and make my way behind the rail cars. My boots and pants below the knee are soaked but my bladder is happy so I am too.
The boys and I motor on at 50 mph. About 10 miles to the top of the pass, slush hits the windshield, a snow and rain mix. 8 miles in, the “Chains Required” sign is lit. Its a madhouse on the side of road with cars and semis pulled off to apply chains. We don’t stop. My investment in an all wheel drive sedan pays off once again.
We hit the wall of cars and the blizzard about 5 miles from the top of the pass. We’re down to 30 mph and 1/4 mile visibility. We’re stuck in the middle of a pack of cars behind the snow plow. The first 3 cars take off around the snow plow and the Honda ahead of me picks up speed. Yes! Maybe I won’t be stuck behind this snow plow forever. The Honda drives up right behind the plow and chickens out. No! You can pass the plow, just do it, I (mentally) yell. Its no use, the driver wusses out.
We crawl up the mountain, bumper to bumper. My windshield wipers ice up. Lovely, just lovely. We crawl over the top and down the mountain, passing a small SUV with its hazard lights flashing barely going 20 mph, the driver obviously scared spit less.
I’m startled by a light in my rear-view mirror. Its another snowplow, bombing along on the right. He flies by me with a stream of cars behind him. Darn! There is no room to fit into the stream of cars. I’m stuck behind the pokey plow.
Kahthunka, kahthunka, kahthunka! Oh shoot, the road is one white mass with no lines and I ran over those bumps on the edge of the road. Benny freaks out. His paw presses the seat controls and the backrest goes all the way down, landing on the back seat, barely missing JJ. Benny crawls under the canvas covering the back seat, hiding on the floor. JJ gingerly climbs up to the front seat, takes in the situation, decides the front seat is no place for him and hustles back. I keep my eyes on the road, what little I can see of it and ignore the doggy drama.
I’m supposed to call when I reach the Bavarian Village. Its almost Christmas and the Bavarian Village is over flowing with holiday lights, tourists and snow. There are no parking places, the streets piled deep with snow and cars.
As I join the parade of cars through town, Benny’s head pops out of the canvas. He’s up for air and a look around. I let him be. I don’t want him commandeering those seat controls again.