Trapped on I-90

Day One of the NY to LA Roadtrip:

Getting our chai: A great start to the trip!

Getting our chai: A great start to the trip!

It all started out quite normal. A beautiful day, sun shining, no snow. I got everything packed up in my car and as I was about to head out the door, I realized I hadn’t spent time with God yet. While praying, I asked Him what His heart was for this springtime (phase two) of the IQB Tour. I felt like He said:

Expect the unexpected.

I didn’t know what that meant…but felt it repeating over and over in my head.

I picked up my dear friend Traci in Rochester around 1pm. I’d been thinking it would only be fitting to start our road trip with a raspberry chai from Starry Nites (our favorite place, and favorite drink). And before I even suggested it, she said, “I think we should start with a raspberry chai…” So we did.

It was still a beautiful day.

We made it to Buffalo just fine, and then it started snowing. It got really bad, really fast. I could hardly see anything. While waiting in line at the toll booth, we did a Chinese fire drill so Traci could drive.

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Scraping off the car in the piling snow, during our first hour stopped on the thruway.

And then things went from worse to…well, worse.

We moved about 4 miles in 2 hours. Just over the PA state line, not even to Erie, and then everything stopped. With snow blowing and piling around us, Traci and I turned off the car and sat on the thruway for almost THREE HOURS.

I mean, I thought if there was bad weather, we’d just be delayed. But trapped on the thruway?!

My wonderful father looked up traffic and weather advisories online and found that three semi tractor trailers were off the road and it looked like it would take FOUR TO FIVE HOURS to get it cleaned up. AHHHH!!!! By that time it was 7:30pm.

When we were expecting to spend the night on I-90.

When we were expecting to spend the night on I-90.

We got out the sleeping bag and had fun calling our families to get pity from them. And then we just waited. And talked about how awesome of a story this was going to be for our grandchildren. We were kind of nervous, but secretly savoring the heroics of it. (It was almost like being recruited to the CIA!)

All the other cars were powering down, even the trucks – turning off lights, shutting down engines. It was kind of creepy. Thankfully the snow stopped, so it wasn’t piling up anymore. (For awhile I was scared we’d get stuck in loads of snow!)

Crazy that we could be just 2 miles from a hotel, and yet totally cut off from it. Speaking of which, we were calling and calling hotels, but either they were full or they didn’t take reservations.

Thankfully we started moving after 2-3 hours instead of 4-5, and a wonderful fireman directed us off the ramp and to a hotel that had just a few rooms left. Somehow we made it up its slippery, steep driveway in my PT Cruiser. It’s a small room alright, but it’s bigger than my car and slightly warmer. Praise Jesus!!

Our lovely, tiny hotel room. Where we'll sleep until 6am. Then makin' up for lost time!

Our lovely, tiny hotel room. Where we’ll sleep until 6am. Then makin’ up for lost time!

We’re taking a quick sleep, and then getting up to make up for lost time. We’d hoped to stay with my friend James and his wife in Columbus, OH tonight…but we aren’t even to Erie, PA. God willing (and weather permitting) we will drive 15 hours tomorrow to get to Kansas City, MO and stay with Traci’s friend.

The amazing thing is that the weather channel reported a 130-car/truck pileup in Cleveland. Praise God that I took the time to pray this morning and left late enough that we missed it. I love knowing His hand is over me.

To sum it up: What an adventure this is already! I never thought I would get stranded on I-90.

I guess I’ll keep expecting the unexpected. I’m just praying God has His way and that He opens my eyes to any and all opportunities. I’d love some divine appointments with this change in our travel plans! I’m excited to see what He has in store.

So here I am in this tiny hotel room with one of my best friends in the world. If she wasn’t with me tonight, I would have completely and totally LOST IT. But with her and Jesus, this is such an adventure. And I’m totally expecting the unexpected.

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