Snowy Evening Parked near Beaver, UT

My mother doesn’t travel very well anymore.  She is 90 and gets tired easily.  I decided I would pick her up in St. George and bring her to my place in Orem for Thanksgiving.  On Sunday morning (21 Nov 2010), I drove south to St. George.  It was windy, and except for a short stretch just south of Beaver, the road conditions were good.  They now have at least 4 sections of I-15 that are posted at 80 mph, so the trip goes a little faster than it used to.

By the time mom and I were ready to leave for Orem, the sun was shining in St. George.  It was a beautiful, cool afternoon.  We stopped at the Thompson Pecan Farm (off the highway toward Huricane), a must-stop on any trip to St. George.  (Another must-stop is Croshaw’s Pies, but they are closed on Sundays.)  Then it was off to Orem, with the sun still shining.

As we neared Beaver, it started to sleet.  Nothing serious, but it did make the highway slippery.  I slowed down, but many zipped right past me.  About 10 miles north of Beaver there were 7 cars that had either slid off the highway or had been in an accident.  Finally, everything ground to a halt.  We didn’t move for the next three hours, we were trapped on I-15.  Snow began to fall in earnest.  We gradually lost what little daylight we had.  We were parked.

Luckily we had filled up with gas in St. George and mother had brought grapes.  We listened to a NFL game and the rap-up show.  Someone indicated that there was a 3-car accident ahead of us.  Snow kept accumulating on the ground as the daylight turned to dark.  Finally, about 7 pm, we started to move again.  Slowly, but at least we were moving.  After we crested a small hill, we could see into Cove Fort valley.  There were semis and cars pointed south as far as the eye could see, few if any were moving.  There were 8 solid miles of semis trying to head south on I-15.  Stopped by the icy highway.  I have no idea how many cars and trucks were behind us going north. 

We never did see the cause for our delay.  I still wonder why it took 3 hours to get traffic moving on the freeway (either direction).  Conditions returned to normal just south of Fillmore.  Another 3 hours of my life that I will never get back.

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