This last weekend Sue and I decided to make the most of some spare time and to go away for a night. We decided upon York which is a city that we love, but it also gave us the opportunity to visit my parents for dinner and to look at some work they’ve been doing at their house.
While we were in York it started to snow, but nothing too dramatic.
By the time we had finished dinner it was dark and the snow had continued to fall.
It’s not far from my parents to the M62 motorway and we decided that while it may take us a while to get home that we’d be fine to travel.
So we set off.
It was slow going, but we never felt that we were doing anything too dangerous. Eventually we joined the motorway and the road, while impacted by the snow, still felt like a safe place to be.
Steadily we moved down the road, the snow continued to fall and we were becoming more remote.
As time passed we found ourselves in deeper snow, so deep that we could no longer tell where the edges of the motorway were – on either side. We had travelled beyond the street lights and were in utter darkness. The tracks that we were following became fainter and the snow became thicker. The snow continued to fall and the windscreen wipers became frozen. There was no one visible in front and no one visible behind. We were on our own.
It no longer felt like a safe place to be.
We wondered how long we would be travelling like this. We already knew that there wasn’t any snow back at home, but there was more than 120 miles between us and home. Having phoned a friend to see what information was available we concluded that things were confused.
It now felt like a very uncomfortable place to be.
Although neither of us said it but we could both tell that we weren’t happy.
After a while we concluded that it was time to turn around, go the other way and spend the night at my parents.
Having made the decision we spent anxious minutes waiting for the next junction to come into view, limited as the view was.
It felt like a long time before the next junction and it wasn’t easy making our way up the slip road and back onto the other side of the motorway. We still couldn’t see the edge of the road so had no idea where the slip road started. We made a short stop to clear as much of the snow from the windscreen as possible.
We were still on our own in the darkness. The road was a bit clearer on this side but we were still travelling on and through a lot of snow.
After what seemed like a very long time we saw some lights in the distance which turned out to be a queue of cars. As we caught up with them it felt good to be with others in the journey. We’d found some other people in the same predicament as ourselves, but that wasn’t the end of our worries we still had a long way to go.
Cars passed us trying to get to the front of the queue, covering the car with snow as they did. It was then that we saw something that made us even more relieved. As these cars went dangerously zipping down the queue some blue lights came on at the head of the convoy. We were being lead by a police car. If anyone knew there way down this road then a police car would.
Knowing that there was a police car at the front of the queue changed our outlook on the situation we were in.
We had a guide we could trust.
He quoted a proverb: "’Can a blind man guide a blind man?’ Wouldn’t they both end up in the ditch? An apprentice doesn’t lecture the master. The point is to be careful who you follow as your teacher."
Even with a good guide it took us a long time to get back to the streetlights and eventually to my parents.
We followed the queue all the way to the end of the motorway and made our way back to my parents house. We spent the night there and made our way back the next day.