White Knuckle Driving On South Dakota Interstate 29
I received a phone call a couple of weeks ago telling me that a family member had suddenly passed away. After processing that kind of news the next thing hit me; I have to drive up to North Dakota in the middle of winter.
I spent about eight years of my life in North Dakota and am very familiar with their harsh winters. As cold as Sioux Falls can get, North Dakota gets colder. So I was not looking forward to the trip at all.
The drive up from Sioux Falls to Fargo on Interstate 29 was slow north of Watertown until Fargo due to blowing snow forming ice on the road surface. Then I saw cars sliding into the ditch. I slowed down to 30 MPH so I didn't end up in the ditch too. I don't mind driving on snow, but it's the ice that I don't care for.
I eventually made it to Fargo and began the long drive on westbound Interstate 94 to the town of Dickinson. I-94 was ice-free west of Fargo so I cruised right along at normal speeds.
But things quickly devolved on the return trip. The road conditions were far worse after the big winds that went through the Dakotas on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I-94 was slick from Jamestown to Fargo and I-29 was totally ice-covered from Fargo until north of Watertown.
As expected, the were several vehicles in the ditch. I saw many semi-trucks on the side of the road, most likely gelled up from the extreme cold temperatures.
This trip confirms what I already knew; I like North Dakota, but only in the summer.