I have a little fuzz in my mind today and have nearly zilch to write this morning, so I’m just going for it. Yesterday driving back wasn’t bad at all. In Texas in sucked, but the roads were pretty great in Oklahoma and even better in Kansas. I’m still blowing my nose out from all the salt that was coming through the vents in my van driving. They must have dumped most of the Morton Salt factory on the toll road the last couple days. Anyway, I’m sure I’ll get back up to speed in the next few hours and get back to it.
I’ve had enough of this nice Texas weather and am heading back to Kansas today. Oklahoma is supposed to be pretty treacherous too, so I might be on the road for awhile today. It is a little less than 500 miles, so it really isn’t all that far. I dropped Sue off at the airport at 8 am and am making my way up. Hopefully it will get over 32 degrees sometime this morning and the roads will thaw some, because that is all the snow removal they seem to have down here in Texas. Okay, wish me luck.
Here are some photos from the Kansas State Cyclocross Championships yesterday in Topeka.
Bromont at Love Field this morning.
I’m gonna think differently about salt on the roads from now on. There are clouds of salt dust coming off the semi’s wheels. Sweet.
Nothing much has changed in Dallas other than maybe it is more dangerous than it has been the last couple days. It has drizzled on top of ice, so that makes walking nearly impossible. Even Bromont has hit the deck a few times, which says something about how treacherous it is.
Plus the state of Oklahoma is having the same issues as Texas did a couple days ago. On my favorite part of the drive, near Ardmore, the old mountain area, I guess there is a huge blockage of semis stuck on the road, guys sleeping in their trucks and people in their cars.
The power came back on this morning in Richardson, so we moved Sue’s mom back home again. Yesterday I went over to their house to put in some shower grab bars. I didn’t need any electricity or heat for that. I could have used some heat, but it wasn’t mandatory.
It took a little longer than I’d hoped, but it went pretty well. I had a hard time locating studs behind the ceramic tile. I finally climbed up in the attic, which was a minor nightmare. I had to get down on my chest and forge through three different varieties of insulation to get over the bathroom. I found studs that I could use of one bar, but not for the other. I saw “an ad” on the bar that said WingIts compatible. I hadn’t heard of WingIts before. Anyway, they are anchors that say they can handle between 300-600 pounds of force when used behind ceramic tile. That seemed like a big claim, but that was about the only option I could think of because there was no access behind the wall. I had to drill huge holes, 3/4″, but they were going to be plugged by the attachment. They seem to work pretty well. I tugged on them about as hard as I could and they were solid.
I’m going to hang here until tomorrow morning and then head North. I think it is better to drive in the daylight. My diesel van completely sucks on ice, about the same as a pickup truck. I have never experienced a storm or situation that I had to just sit tight for so long. I guess it is just a reality of ice in a Southern climate.
I guess it got slick for the Kansas State Cyclocross Championships in Topeka today. I probably would have raced in those conditions. I don’t care so much about the place, but the bike handling skills you reaffirm at race speed are super valuable. You have to keep up with that or they dissipate. Guess it wasn’t to be.
I’m pretty much stuck in Dallas. Someone left a comment yesterday that said something like, it shouldn’t be a surprise since they have been predicting this ice storm for the past few days. And I agree that is true. What isn’t predictable, or at least wasn’t obvious to me, is the real lack of infrastructure to deal with this here. Nearly anywhere else in the country, this wouldn’t be any big deal.
All the roads are super hazardous. The George Bush Toll Road is worse than nearly any gravel road I’ve ever been on. No one has any snow shovels or salt. Nearly no sidewalks are cleared, so they are solid ice.
The power is out in Richardson and I recommended that Sue take her mom to a hotel. The temperature in her house was already into the 40′s and the power might not be turned on until tomorrow still. By the time we decided that, nearly all the hotels were full. We ended up driving up to Plano to a pretty nice place, the NYLO. It is ultra modern and kind of hip. Trying to get Sue’s mom from the car into the hotel was a chore. It was solid ice right up to where you could grab the handle. I don’t understand the liability risks these commercials properties are willing to assume here. In Kansas, it is a law that you need to clear the sidewalks on your property in a timely manner, something like 8 hours. Absolutely no one here is clearing anything. I don’t think there is anything here to use for it.
It is kind of lucky that this is a weekend, so people can just hunker down and sit it out. I really don’t know how many people are without electricity, but it might take a while to get it turned back on. The electric trucks aren’t moving any faster than anyone else around here, which is really slow.
Anyway, back to the title of the post. My legs are wasted today. I kind of twisted my knee getting out of the car yesterday on ice. Now, walking on ice, I feel super unstable, which is pretty normal I guess. I can’t believe how wasted my thighs and hamstrings from trying to stabilize myself on ice.
Walking Bromont this morning, he fell down twice while walking on grass with ice on it. I didn’t sink through, walked right on top of the ice on grass. It is so solid. It isn’t going to thaw here for a while.
The Kansas State Cyclocross Championships are tomorrow in Topeka, just 3 miles from my house. I was planning on being there. I really hadn’t planned to race, but you never know about that. Unless something around here goes a lot better, I doubt I’m going to be in Kansas for the race tomorrow.