Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Dilemma

There are few straight flat roads to anywhere here.

I have been planning on driving to a knitting retreat in Hendersonville NC starting Thursday and continuing on to Sunday. This will be with a bunch of my friends from the knitting group and they go every year. But this year we have had some bad weather, and while sunny and cold days are forecast for the weekend, that doesn't mean that the way there will be easy...or even safe.
Black Ice. Eeeoouuuu!
I have already paid the full amount ($460+)and my penny pinching self wants to make it worth it, but on the other hand, knowing how narrow and twisty the roads are in the mountains makes me quiver in my boots.
I keep hoping there will be a mass email saying the whole conference is cancelled or maybe postponed til Spring (ha!), but so far, nothing. I will call them today and see what they can do for me.
In the meantime I am getting ready, packing clothes and mountains of yarn as I haven't yet decided on what project to knit over the three days. I have a lot of ideas, and all the necessary yarn, but nothing in particular that I must do. And of course I am playing with the hat idea. Looks like a starfish on the crown, no?

So what would you do if you were me?
Check out this site for a great Jane Sassaman giveaway.

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  1. This map shows the road conditions for the state.
    Lots of yellow/red to the north.
    And this one for NC conditions.
    I've been the route you show in good weather. It would not be my choice to drive it in bad weather :(

  2. Black ice ... the worst!! (And this comes from a Florida gal!!) Most of your route is interstate so that part should be really clear, but it's the little things that get us! Traveling with a group somehow seems more secure, doesn't it? If I were the one making the choice, I'd grab my buddies, head out, and if the going got too tough, I'd either turn back or find a hotel & make our own "knit-in" & try again the next day. Whatever you choose, I wish you a FABULOUS time! Also sending safety dust and positive karma to your route and your group.

  3. The schools in Hendersonville are closed to students today, optional for teachers. I'm surprised the retreat isn't cancelled. Hope you get to go.

  4. I would go slowly and calmly forth! Leave early - take your time.


  5. Kedves Melody!

    Csak magyarul tudok kommentelni, de kikívánkozik belőlem, így leírom: CSODÁS SZÍNVILÁGGAL találkozok itt Nálad, és szívesen járok ide lelket és szemet nyugtatni.

    Kellemes napot: KeDo

  6. I'm not at all familiar with the roads or conditions there, but I would definitely make a call to the conference to see what they could do. Black ice is bad.

  7. Weather wimp here says to stay home. $460 versus possible horrible car accident? easy choice. I grew up in the northern part of Michigan's lower peninsula and spent part of my childhood in the upper peninsula and have lived most of my adult life in southeastern Michigan - in other words, I've dealt with winter weather all my life, but mostly in flatland areas. This morning, with four inches of snow on the ground, I packed my knitting and told my husband I would hang out in town this evening while he has his church meeting - just so that he could drive back and forth.

    When the officials are warning people to stay off the roads or that road conditions will be very hazardous, be a good citizen and stay home. Weather wimp signing off.

  8. I would call ahead and if they are open just go ahead and go. I know the money seems important (to me too) but I love these kinds of things for the fellowship part of it as much as the creative booste they give. I once went to an art quilt group meeting when you couldn't even see two feet in front of your car because of fog. I wasn't the only one almost all of the regulars showed up. Can you put chains on your tires? HA!

  9. Anonymous9:03 AM

    Hi, I came across your blog while googling and had to comment: Are you kidding? I drove that same route from Knoxville (to the coast of NC)at the end of October and there is NO WAY I would drive through those mountains in January. It's a dangerous enough drive in nice weather. Please stay home (if you can't fly there). That retreat should be cancelled. After my mother went on a quilting retreat in icy weather, her rule of thumb is no retreats in winter.

  10. Stay home and be safe! Call for a refund, if possible.

  11. Call them! Call your friends and see what they're thinking. I can't imagine they wouldn't refund the money! It just takes a second when you hit a slippery spot and there is no control.

  12. Hi Melody...I'm your sort-of neighbor (Signal Mtn) but haven't met you yet (waiting for mitered squares!). If the retreat is at Kanuga (Hendersonville) and you decide to go, pack an electric blanket if you have one because those cabins get cold. My family went there last New Year's for a wedding with snow on the ground. Much was cleared road-wise, but the pathways between cabins and buildings were very icy. You will need boots with good treads. One possible option would be to see if you and your friends could apply the $ to a future retreat or gathering and go when it is safer.

  13. If I were you, and yes, I believe such a thing is possible, I would contact the organizers and tell them about your travel anxieties. You cannot be the only one thinking/feeling this. Share your burden and see what they have to say about it. Perhaps there is an alternate solution they have been mulling as well. xo

  14. I'd do what you are doing, call and explain. I wouldn't chance it. I'm from Maine and drive on Finish tires with steel bits protruding for ice and even I wouldn't do a long trip that wasn't an emergency. Life is too precious.

  15. Melody,
    We just drove that route on US40 from Knoxville to Ashville on the Tuesday after Christmas. The road near the tunnels at the TN-NC border was covered in ice and slick, even though the temps were well above freezing. Trucks were sliding around on the road. The other way to go is from Chattanooga through Cleveland and the Ocoee River valley. The Ocoee River road is usually covered in ice when everything else is clear, and is really treacherous. That's why we used US40.
    Maybe the person who set up this retreat can call them and get another date.

  16. Anonymous10:10 AM

    If is were me, I would pray for the event to be cancelled. To me, no amount of money is worth taking a chance that something terrible would happen.

    The only other thing I would consider is trying to find a flight and making sure transportation from the airport would not be a problem. The memory of all the people stranded in airports is still fresh in my mind.

    You will be in my prayers that you make the right decision.

  17. Mechelle10:22 AM

    Maybe you could borrow a tundra driving truck w/tires as big as you and chains? Just kidding, you should stay home - just to stay away from the other crazy drivers that are not careful!! Black Ice is NOT fun!

  18. Hmmmm. Take the pulse of the group. If the weather is in fact that bad the event will probably be cancelled. One option is to rent a 4WD SUV to get you more safely there -that might even be fun. But this is coming from someone who lives in ALASKA -where it's usually "the other driver" who has no snow & ice driving experience we have to worry about!

  19. I spent several years and lots of money recovering from (supposedly) minor whiplash injury from sliding off a mountain road after hitting a patch of black ice. Happened over 15 years ago. Had to walk a couple of miles on icy roads at midnight to get help. My car was totaled. Also hurt my knee when the dashboard console came forward during the impact. Got wedged between two tress that saved my life. So I guess you know how I would vote! Seeing you safe & protected either way!!

  20. Maybe I'm looking at things wrong, but it looks like the advisory expires today and you go tomorrow??? Maybe it will be miraculously better by then!

    You're listening to a first class driving wimp. I'm originally from the frozen winter tundra of Nebraska and now live in Washington State where we ourselves are under a winter storm warning today. I'm not going anywhere except to snowblow the driveway! I've got my knitting for the day planned out and I'n not driving anywhere.
    Hopefully all will be better by tomorrow, one day can make a lot of difference, otherwise I'm with Gale...see how far you can get and if you have too, have a hotel knit-in with your friends and go on the next day. Have a wonderful time whatever you decide!

    Now I think I'll make myself some hot tea!

  21. What does your hubby think?
    I tend to look to mine as the gaurdian...he wants ME safe!
    If you go be really prepared to be stuck on the road, behind an accident that needs cleared..ect..
    safe trip!

  22. OK, Melody, I know expectations are different in the US to the UK but after a struggle I got Google directions for your route and it said 4 hours and 39 minutes. For GAWD's sake. Are you mad? Or just American? Here (Devon, UK) 49 minutes in those conditions would need thinking about and during last month's snow and black ice it also needed winter tyres and snow chains. If you have got winter tyres and snow chains (+ a torch, blanket, spade, edible supplies and a working mobile phone) then go. Otherwise, DON'T. Speak to the organisers about joining in via Webcam or Skype. No-one in the UK would contemplate such a trip. But then we are very small I suppose (in more ways than one). Love Karen xxx

  23. We just went through an ice storm a few weeks ago .. no way in the world would I drive mountain roads in those conditions. Too easy to slide - even with chains. Be safe and hope that they reschedule. Hate when Mother Nature messes with plans that way!

  24. Maybe there is someone else going who you could catch a ride with, or even meet before the mountains and drive in tandem with. You could ask when you call them.

  25. Stay home! Even though you don't want to "waste" all that money, it's so much more important to be safe.
    I've been driving in Minnesota winters for a LONG time, but admit that I've become a weather wimp in the last few years. Not that I can't drive on snow and ice (I have a Volvo---Swedes know about winter!) but there are so many people who don't know how to slow down and I don't want to be the target of a skidding car. I hope that they cancel the conference (I'm sure that you're not the only one with weather concerns) and give a refund.

  26. Yep stay home. BUT you're going fairly close to Wytheville ... stop at Batiks Etcetera & Sew What Fabrics 460 E. Main St. for the night

  27. The popular consensus on the previous 20+ commenters about sez it all.

    But, sure would hate to miss a wonderful retreat but the sane portion of my brain [teeny-tiny] sez safety first.

    K2-P2 and YO Hugs


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