White Knuckle Driving

The trip to Northern Vermont was eventful. I went to Waitsfield to visit Fit Werx, but got to enjoy the Vermont winter too. I had an uneventful drive to Hanover, New Hampshire on Saturday night. I stayed over with my cousin, Monique, at her apartment on the Dartmouth College campus. She is a Residential Director at the school. We had a beer at Murphy’s on the Green and caught up on family stuff. 

I got up early on Sunday and went for a run around Hanover. It was snowing and I knew that this was just the beginning of the day’s excitement. The Dartmouth campus buildings were beautiful in the morning snow and I had a nice 40 minute run. After grabbing a tea and scone, I hit the road for the 90 minute drive up I-89 to Waitsfield. The snow got heavier as I headed north. The forecast said it was going to snow all day long. At 8:00 A.M., I had the road to myself, but I knew that wouldn’t be the case later in the day. 

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I opted for what I thought would be a shortcut to Rt. 100. I took Rt. 12A to Warren Mt. Road to Roxbury Mt. Road over Roxbury Gap. It was treacherous. The map didn’t say the road was closed in winter, so I gave it a shot, knowing that if it was impassable, I would have a long way to drive around the mountains. Going up was easy. Going down was like a bobsled run. This is where owning an all wheel drive Subaru really pays off. I made it to Warren, then up to Waitsfield, all in one piece. 

I left Fit Werx four and a half hours later with nearly six more inches of snow on the ground. This is when the fun really began. I decided to skip the Gap and head north to I-89. It was a round about way, but ultimately quicker. I saw my first accident right away. This was the first of at least 20 over the next four hours of driving on I-89 and I-91. With the exception of one Prius in a ditch and a VW turned around, nearly all the other vehicles were SUV’s. I also noticed that nearly all of them had out of state license plates. I saw Connecticut, New Jersey, and of course, New York. I even got “drive by” photographic proof. 

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Why are SUV’s always off the road? Why can’t out of state drivers (known as flat-landers in VT) handle the snow? I know the answers to both questions, but what do you think? 

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I managed to avoid a wreck and the snow briefly changed to rain in Massachusetts, before changing back to snow in Connecticut as darkness fell. I was pretty tired when I got home. It was white knuckle driving all the way. 

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Note: in my research on Roxbury Gap, I came across what looks to be an epic bike ride: Vermont Six-Gaps Road Ride

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