We had planned an orderly return to Florida - it was anything but ... We had booked a hotel room for Monday night, having planned to leave early Monday morning, and then finish the remainder of the trip on Tuesday. However, when I did a final check on en route weather conditions Sunday afternoon , I found that a major winter storm was expected for Monday. We decided to try to outrun the storm.
The car was hastily packed with items my wife had already set aside. A last check was made, Sasha eagerly jumped in the car, and we were on our way by 5:00 pm. The journey proceeded uneventfully and by 05:00 the next morning we thought our quick departure was paying dividends. Not so. At the same time, we both thought we saw some snowflakes and mentioned it to each other. Couldn't be, we thought - we were in North Carolina where snow is supposed to be rare ! Sure enough, the few flakes quickly changed to a full-blown blizzard !
In no time the roadway was covered, and before long we came across cars that had slid into the median or ditches along the interstate. Lane markings were covered and we judged where we were based on hearing the rumble strips along the shoulders. Fortunately there was little traffic at that time. We searched radio stations for weather updates, and these indicated that later in the day worse was expected further along our route, in South Carolina and Georgia. We decided not to stay in SC as planned but to head further south.
We 'plowed' ahead through the snow, which eventually became freezing rain, and finally rain - which turned the fallen snow into a thick, steering wheel-grabbing slush. After 5 or so hours of this winter driving, the roads were finally clear of snow, slush and ice, and we proceeded in the rain. I needed a few 1/2 hour catnaps along the way to prevent open-eye hallucinations. After awaking from my last catnap in Jacksonville, FL, I felt like Rip van Winkle emerging from a long long sleep - the weather was quite warm (21C/70F) and the sun was shining. The ice that had accumulated on the car was long gone as was all the salt which had been washed off by the rain. And, after 27 hours on the road, we made it !
Today I spent some time pulling weeds out of the lawn and did my best to prevent getting a sunburn ! Here's an example of some I pulled. Oh, I checked it out - it's known as Emilia fosbergii, or Red Florida Tassel Flower.
(60mm f5.6 1/60 sec ISO200)