I live in the Midwest.

We have winter here, every year. Some years are relatively mild, while others are like this year – brutally cold. Okay, that’s a lie, every year it gets brutally cold for about a week, then it is back to the thirties and life goes on under the boring, dull and grey skies.

This year, it’s got a little extra cold going for it. As I type this it is currently seven below zero with a wind chill of, let’s call it 40 below.

That is cold, my friends. Dangerously cold.

Now imagine putting together high winds, and light snow (which is the snow you get when it snows on days below freezing), and then try to drive in it. I do not recommend it in the slightest.

A couple of co-workers of mine and I were driving to southern Illinois – also know as the normal part of Illinois without the evil Chicago influence – and we had the pleasure of experiencing the wind, snow and blowing snow for five hours of our four hour trip. The first hour wasn’t too bad, as the snow and wind hadn’t picked up yet.

Yes, the trip is supposed to take four hours, I got here in just over six. My co-workers got here today, after I had to backtrack and retrieve them from the firehouse where they were riding out the storm after their vehicle went off road. Needless to say, they had a way more entertaining evening than I did, in the company of strangers, while I had the thrill of staying in a hotel with no TV, internet or phone and the, let’s say  50 MPH winds, trying to knock the building over.

So glad I went with the pig whose house was made of brick.

They got to experience the life of a group of survivors banding together, for the night in this case, after a tragic experience of being blown, slid, swept off the road – that you shouldn’t have been traveling on in the first place.

These guys are Marines – no longer active, but still Marines. They adapted and they overcame all the odds and had fun while doing it. Even if there were some odd people that stared at them and accused them of being Chicago cops, or that there was an older gentlemen on oxygen with them, and his family and dog.

They adapted to sleeping in a room that was kept just above freezing, actually it was probably closer to fifty, but when you don’t have a thermometer…

They adapted so well that wake up call for them was around 9 – slackers.

They adapted so well that they suffered through steak and eggs for breakfast – I myself had the much better breakfast of week old cinnamon rolls heated up in the microwave, along with some orange juice from a machine – pretty sure it was orange juice at least.

They even managed to look cheerful when I walked in the door to pick them up.

All in all it was a good day for travel, by dogsled maybe.



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