Yesterday, I had class in Mankato-if you read my last posting you probably knew that as it was posted while I was sitting in the student union. As we started class yesterday the instructor stated that she was going to let us out early since we were suppose to get really bad weather. Take into account that only 4 of us showed up and 3 of us drove from the cities to Mankato. After we got done assessing our classmates GI system we were on our way! I stepped outside and it was BLIZZARD conditions and I knew it was going to make for a LONG ride home!
As I was walking to the car I was slipping as sliding and finally went down on top of my computer mind you! The snow on the sidewalks were covering the patches of glare ice and of course the school didn't put down any salt or sand!
Finally I made it to my car, scraped the windows and brushed off the snow and I was on my way. I was taking it extremely slow through Mankato being cautious of the slick conditions and the hills. I was thinking that the driving conditions should be a little better on 169 since it is a major highway...NOT. The radio stated it had just started snowing in St. Peter, so I thought if I can make there it should be smooth sailing for the rest of the drive.....again I was wrong! The driving conditions were horrible on 169! I kept with the hope that the driving conditions will get better and I would get ahead of the storm. I made it to St. Peter! After passing though St. Pater you couldn't see 10 ft. in front of you because the blowing snow was so thick. The road was completely covered by thick snow (4-5 inches!), so there was no telling where the sides of the road were and not to mention that my windshield became so thick with ice that even with the defroster on full blast it wouldn't stay clear! I passed car after car in the ditch; probably between 30 and 40. About 10 miles past St. Peter I came to a little town called LeSuer and pulled off; I had been on the road 1 1/2 hours at this point and had only gone 20 miles. I stopped at the Pizza Ranch ate lunch and thought I will wait it out a bit to see if the plows can get out on the road and then restart my journey to the cities. I called work to let them know that I was currently stuck in LeSeur and that I will try to get on the road in about a hour but just to let them know in the case that I'm stuck there and not able to make it into work. Then made a call to my parents to pick Shadow up. I kept checking the weather radar maps on my phone since the local TV stations only had the afternoon soaps playing (NO updates on the weather or road conditions came on!). In addition to checking my phone I kept dialing 511 to hear the MDOT reports. Later, I got a text message from the city of Mankato saying that they shut down all the hills going into Mankato at 11:30-about 10 minutes after I got out! I sat at the Pizza Ranch for a total of 2 1/2 hours and finally got the announcement that 169 was now closed. I decided to head over to the ALCO (the town person said it was like a miniature Walmart) to pick up PJ's, toothbrush, toothpaste, brush, socks, and underwear, the essentials; oh and I can't forget a pair of boot slippers. I got directions to the nearest motel from a passing police officer that had his car window down as he was reaching out trying to grab the windshield wiper to free it from the built up snow and ice.
I went to the motel to check in and it was DISGUSTING!!!!!! The motel was thick with cigarette smoke and the owners dog was running around the lounge (if that's what you want to call it). Normally hotels have little gift shop with munchies and pop, well they had bins that you would find out on a farm laying on the floor in the middle of the room with 2 liter bottles of pop and energy drinks. I had decided to buy a 2 liter of diet coke for something to drink the room later on. Once I got checked in the lady handed me the key and I proceeded upstairs to my room passing a pop machine from the 80's (the ones that had the buttons at the top of the machine), the carpet had holes in it everywhere. As I made my way up the stairs I could hear a fan blowing on high to find it drying out the hallway! I took a left and my room was located at the end of the hallway-I walk in and it was FREEZING! The heat was set at 50! The room was something you would see in a movie! A broken refrigerator in the corner, thick with smoke (even though it was a non-smoking room),and a little TV with 10 channels. The carpet was pieced together and it smelled really bad!!!!! First, I did was pulled back the blankets on the bed to make sure there weren't any stains! Okay, the blanket had cigarette burns and holes but the sheets looked clean.
I sat in the room for about a hour and a half-personalizing ringtones for the contacts in my phone, checking facebook (from my phone since there wasn't any internet), examining my now dented computer and calling my parents about a million times! Finally, I ventured to the Asian restaurant two doors down from the hotel. Word of advice don't ever go to a ASIAN restaurant in a small town! It was disgusting-who puts carrots in a cream cheese wonton, not to mention I think the cream cheese was hazelnut flavored! After eating or picking at my food, I decided to walk to the Holiday gas station next door to get a magazine to read-no luck there either, they only had car and nudey magazines-ggggrrrrrr!
I headed back to my room, stop at my car on the way to pick up my advance assessment text (it was the only thing that I had to read). I read ahead a bit in the assessment text and played a couple of games of chess against my computer. I opened my bottle of Diet Coke, took a sip and almost puked! The Diet Coke tasted awful! I checked the bottle and it was expired! I turned on the TV-re-runs! Liz, finally called and I talked to her for a little bit. I peeked at my watch it was 7:45 pm and decided to go to bed. The bed was crunchy! Scared by the blanket and the possibly of getting bed bugs, I decided not to use it and froze! Surprisingly I dozed off for a short period of time before I woke to the train running behind the motel and then again to the people leaving the bar next door, and then again at 4:30 to a loud sound (I thought the pipes had burst but it was the person in the room next door taking a shower). I had enough! I went downstairs to check out-the office was locked, I picked up the phone and dialed the after hours number-busy tone. Finally, I left the key in the room, got in my car and headed towards 169.
169 was still in pretty bad condition-glare ice! I could only go about 45 mph! Again many cars were sliding into the ditch! I made it Savage, where I currently sit at Panera awaiting for rush hour to let up.