Saturday I had an acting gig* in Forest, Ontario, which is a little over an hour from where I live. When the show ended, I checked the weather radar on the internet, I checked the highway conditions as reported by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario [MTO], and I called Ms Eclectic to check with her about the weather. All three sources said the weather was worse where I live than it was down in Forest.
So I started out. And for the first half of the trip home, there was some snowing and a lot of blowing. I rarely went over 60 - 70 kmh, but I could always see the tracks on the road where the tires of cars had been ahead of me, and it didn't seem too bad. Most of the time I could see the centre line of the highway, or at the very least I could readily tell where the centre line was supposed to be.
At the half-way point, I stopped for a quick coffee and called Ms. Eclectic. She said there had been a lot of snowing and blowing in our hometown (Clinton, ON), and it looked pretty horrible outside but that there seemed to be a bit of let-up right then. So I soldiered on.
The last 20 miles or so, which usually takes about 20 minutes to drive, took me over an hour. I could usually see where the road was supposed to be (or approximately so), but there were about four to ten inches of snow on the road and who knows when the last time was that a plough had been on that highway.
I made it home, though, and I'm glad I did: the roads in the area are mostly closed this morning, and the squalls are still streaming in across the area from Lake Huron. It was risky but with care it was safely doable last night. Today it would not have even been doable.
Overall, it was an intriguing exercise in information search: how much information can I find about the road conditions, and how reliable will the information be? What if the road conditions turned out to be worse than I expected based on the information I had gathered? Would I be able to keep going? Would I be able to turn around? Where could I stop if I had to stop [answer: there are not many places to stop on that last 20-minute stretch; I'd have almost surely been stuck somewhere, hoping I had enough gas to keep the car going and warm]?
*Acting gig: in a mystery dinner show at The Forest Golf and Country Club. I played the CEO of a firm called Ontario Gas and Wind Development that had just acquired Hancock Family Beans for the synergies in production.