Blizzard in May? Really?

So, funny story. I was driving home from a gig in Saskatoon with my Dub Step band, Blast Action Hero. The drive started normal enough, although we’d heard warnings there may be a blizzard coming. I figured in case of emergency I’d start feeling out possibility of subbing my gig back home that night. Let’s start this off by saying that I’m GLAD I put those feelers out.

An hour or so into our journey we started seeing cars and trucks coming in the opposite direction COVERED in snow. To be clear, the night before I was in shorts and currently the roads were completely dry. This of course was really strange to see. Then, out of nowhere the entire climate just changed and we hit this section of highway that seemed to last for ever. The roads were relentlessly and intensely pot holed. The worst part about that was the pot holes were pure ice! It was some of the worst driving I had ever experienced up until that point. . . It gets worse.

After a couple hours of that we stopped to grab some food and have a quick leg stretch before attempting the rest of the drive. From here nature threw every winter hazard at us imaginable. From blowing snow so harshly we couldn’t see even a few feet in front of the rental van, to huge snow drifts in the middle of the road and driving that felt like we were down hill skiing in the worst possible bumpy, “pull your car every which way” conditions.

At one point we physically had our route barricaded. We googled an alternate route, retreated and went on our way. Not even twenty minutes in there was a semi stopped on what we thought was the side of the road. We tried to get past him and that’s where we got just destroyed by a snow bank. Completely stuck, there was no getting out of it. It was about midnight at this point and we had a quarter tank of gas.

We spent the next two hours taking turns trying to dig ourselves out with a shovel we borrowed from the guy in the semi. Each take a turn then try to push ourselves out. No luck, eventually we gave up on that and started calling around for help. We called the rental company, CAA, google searched all Towing companies anywhere near us, nothing. Eventually the police happened by and gave us the option to come back to town with them and they’d leave us at a Tim Hortons where we could get warm and eat. We opted not under the idea that in the morning when the tow trucks ARE out, the guys who are actually in their vehicles are going to get helped first. So we toughed it out, having to ration our gas to stay warm. Running the car only for a couple minutes at a time every twenty minutes or so.

Eventually after we woke up, close to noon, we got a tow truck, got pulled out and made our way home. I feel extremely lucky that we did as well as we did. From what I understand five people died in that storm.

Canada’s random weather can go ahead and eat me. It’s May, we need sun and t-shirts, not parkas and people dying in blizzards!


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    • GlennRadley
    • May 7, 2011

    Very cool, Aaron. Enjoyable story!

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