We were on our way back to the Quad Cities the first Thursday in December, our SUV filled to the absolute brim with Christmas presents, dog supplies, vacation baggage and bags of clothes for us to wear prior to and after vacation.
It started to mist a couple of hours away from home, but the temperatures hovered just above freezing so it wasn't any big deal until we turned on to the first major highway that would take us straight across the state.
At that point, Nate and I both could feel the tires starting to shake a little bit. We had put on our snow tires a few weeks prior and then had to take a tire off again to change the battery --- the stupid design by Dodge --- and I automatically started to think that maybe our lug nuts were loose.
We pulled off to the side of the road, with people flying past us, and Nate went out to check. He circled the vehicle twice, and I could feel him bang against the tires to see if they would budge, but everything seemed secure.
He slid back onto the black leather seat behind the steering wheel and told me everything looked fine, so we got back onto the road.
A little red Dodge Neon flew past us going at least 70 miles per hour, while we were cautiously driving around 55.
"You feel that don't you?" Nate asked me.
"Yes," I said, the tires were definitely shaking.
"But people are flying past us; are they really driving that stupid in this icy weather?" He asked if maybe we should stay the night somewhere.
I got onto his Orbitz app, where we luckily had about $40 in credits, and I found a Super 8 hotel about five miles in front of us, and thankfully it was dog friendly since our adorable Olde English Bulldog was laying in the backseat during this ordeal.
The right clicker turned on as Nate signaled we would be exiting at this small town, and when we reached the intersection at the bottom of the ramp, he got out of the car again. He looked at the tires, and then bent down to put his hand to the pavement.
"It's solid ice," he said when he got back in the car. "People are crazy to be driving like that in this weather."
We had left a night before we had to, so we had plenty of time to be cautious.
Times like this always remind us of the time that we braved roads that were not only slick but literally solid sheets of ice to get back to the Quad Cities for Christmas. From college students to adults, from foolish decisions to safety first, I guess we've grown up a little bit.