So my wife gets in the front of the suburban with the dog on the floor, and I jump in the back seat with...get this, FIVE of the minivan occupants. The truck was a DOT sign truck so all we had was the one row of backseats and the rest was taken up with equipment. I wish I could draw a picture to show he we fit, but basically, there were three of us sitting on the bench seat, the other two guys each had a buddy on their laps, and the last guy was laying down on a little shelf thing up by our shoulders. It's a damn good thing these were tiny guys, because it was TIGHT.
Well off we go, and visibility is horrible. The cop is all over the road, and my wife is trying to help him by calling out when she gets a glimpse of the left side road stripe. Of course, you know where this is going...within 30 minutes of creeping along at 10mph the cop slides off the road and drives us smack dab into a ditch.
After trying to dig a bit and rocking back and forth, it's clear we're not getting unstuck without help. He gets on the radio and calls in a couple snow plows to come get us. An hour later (which feels like 10 given the cramped conditions) they show up and snatch us out with a tow strap, and we follow the snow plows into Worthington at about 5mph the whole way. Even at this speed, we can't see the plows if they get more than 20 yards in front of us, even with their huge size and flashing lights. This was seriously bad weather.
Eventually the cop dumps us off at a truck stop filled with truckers and other "rescued motorists". Unfortunately, this truck stop's furnaces have stopped working, so not only is it like -7 outside (around -35 with the windchill I think), it's probably in the 40s inside. It is seriously cold.
I buy the last cheap flannel blanket and give it to my wife, then use the spare clothes I packed to make a little bed for the dog on the cold tile floor. The poor pup is shaking cold and totally miserable.
Well, we end up sitting in that truck stop for almost 24 hours, freezing the ENTIRE time. We just sat there shaking and trying to catch a little sleep in the hard plastic chairs the whole night. At one point I walked the aisles brainstorming and found some HEET and was giving serious thought to making a small alcohol stove to get a tiny bit of warmth from it, but I'm sure they would have thrown us out on our butts if we fired that up inside, and there was no going outside in that wind and snow.
So, this morning the trooper came and got us and took us and one of the mexicans in the minivan back to the cars. I dug my car out with my shovel and then and helped the mexican guy with his van since he didn't have a shovel or anything. Of course, the cop didn't have one either.
We made it back to the truck stop and sat in the parking lot idling with the heat on for 4 hours this morning, enjoying the heat and waiting for the roads to reopen. They finally did around 3pm, and we bolted, and here we sit in a hotel in Sioux Falls, thawing out.