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Here are your worst snow travel stories

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picture: Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto (beautiful pictures)

January 1987. I am a reporter in Hudson County, NJ. A new day begins under the threat of a major storm, but I still cover a planned city council meeting. The snow waits until after the morning shower, then it snows hard and fast. People panic and clog roads before salt and plowing can make a dent.

After the meeting, my usual 15-minute drive back to the balloons office turned into an hour. I hurriedly jotted down my story and got home around 3, usually a 45-minute drive. I needed a push to get my Chevette out of the parking space.

Most of Hudson County forms a peninsula surrounded by the Hudson and Hackensack rivers and Newark Bay, with only a few entrances. All are closed, by official order or merely paralyzed. That was the only time I got into a real stalemate. The first leg of my trip, usually 5-10 minutes, takes 4 hours. At one point, I was the sharp end of a wedge traveling through an oddly angled intersection on US 1 & 9, with opposing traffic inching little by little on both sides. The regular congestion lasted long enough for me to turn off the car, get out, and walk around.

I finally got to NJ 3, and it was a jagged iceberg with abandoned cars. A local businessman walks past the traffic to sell snacks and drinks in boxes. I am buying. The only thing worse than moving on is joining those who have given up, because it just leaves another setback for those behind. I lost my emergency leash and got pushed from behind at one point, and after 3 hours I arrived at a strangely empty Garden State Parkway. I get home 8 hours after I leave the office.

The next day it worked again and Route 3 in particular looked like post-apocalypse. In the newsroom, I looked into the conference room and saw a pair of boots, flip-flops on the table, accompanied by a sleeping colleague from a visit to the local dive bar last night. Then I learned that he had knocked out the editor-in-chief in a scramble for his car keys.

Posted By: flyingstitch


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