“There’s nothing worse to encounter when you’re more than two hours from home than winter firing a warning shot…”

Platform at King Street, with sleet on itThe last thing that I want to encounter while I’m on a day trip to Washington DC is snowy or icy weather starting to come down while I’m still in Washington. This is what happened on Saturday, January 17. I’m on a trip to Washington DC, riding the Metro, scoping out sites for future photo shoots, doing some moderate shopping, and so on and so forth, and it starts sleeting. Not snowing. Sleeting. Little tiny balls of ice start falling from the sky. That’s the end of my trip, with me far down the Blue and Yellow Lines in Alexandria at King Street with an icy platform, as you can see at right. Which means that it was just a joy getting back to my car at Vienna. Since it was bad weather, instead of the trains running themselves, the train operators were running the trains manually, and so the starts and stops were somewhat jerky compared to the smooth computerized starts and stops. Then when I transferred to the Orange Line to go to Vienna, the railfan in me boarded the lead car in the train, which turned out to be a bad idea when I got to Vienna because the lead car lands beyond the platform canopy, subjecting me to – you guessed it – another icy platform. Oh, joy. Then it was a bit messy leaving the area in the car. The parking garage was sloppy on my level (I admit – I like parking on the top level of parking garages), the road was a bit sloppy, and Interstate 66 was a bit messy for some ways before clearing up later. All in all, what was normally a two-and-a-half-hour trip ended up taking twice that, with my leaving Vienna at 8 PM and arriving home at 1 AM. Yeesh. Still, one of the worst feelings of the day is that sinking feeling that you get when you realize you’re more than two hours from home, and you’re encountering icy weather, and still have to drive home. It really is terrifying.

Date posted: January 19, 2004