Today I almost messed up bad. Being a die hard photographer I decided to travel from my residence in the wet and soggy town of Columbus, Georgia northeast to Macon and Locust Grove, Georgia to see Winter Storm Pax first-hand. I left about 9:30 am and was in Macon by noon. But I was disappointed to find there was only a light drizzle there (at the time) and no winter storm in sight. So I pushed further north. And that's when I found it. It was like a line drawn in the sand—within a quarter mile the trees turned from green to silvery white! I pulled off the freeway to check the conditions, and while the trees were accumulating ice, the roads were perfectly passable so I pushed on. I believe this was where I made my mistake. Within 20 miles or so the roads began to get slick and the ice was piling on quick. At this point I was committed—I was getting what I came for— so I got off in Locust Grove and began taking pictures and video. It was actually quite beautiful and exciting. There was minimal traffic on the roads and the town looked almost abandoned! I got some interesting shots of the foliage getting iced over and also of a few brave people who were out and about taking care of business. Then I grabbed a few "selfies" and jumped back on the road to head home. This is when the conditions really deteriorated. There were several accidents on the interstate and the roads lost almost all traction. I decided I'd like to take a different route back to Columbus so I took the highways west through Griffin, Zebulon and Molena, Georgia. As driving conditions required me to slow to a crawl, I knew daylight was fading fast. Still I stopped and grabbed a few more shots along the way, although, as darkness set in, I quickly regretted wasting that time! The ice hanging from the road signs went from frozen droplets to full fledged icicles six inches or more in length. As day turned to night I was very grateful for my time spent in Idaho (my home state) and Northern California, where I learned to drive in snow and ice. I passed at least three more vehicles who had slid off the road. In two cases diligent authorities were already on hand, and in the third the vehicle was simply abandoned in a road-side ditch! (myself and another gentleman confirmed there was no-one in the car.) In the end, slow but steady caution found me back into the wonderfully wet 35 degree weather of west central Georgia. This was ten hours from the time I'd left in the morning—and a full five hours longer than I'd intended for.
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