Weekly Photo Challenge: Winter


blizzard-on-motorway

On a recent trip to Scotland to visit my father I found myself on the motorway in blizzard conditions. Beattock Summit is a high point of the A74(M) motorway as it crosses from Dumfries and Galloway to South Lanarkshire in south-west Scotland.  The highest point on what can be a lonely stretch of road is 315 m (1033 ft) and that’s where I was when the blizzard swept in. One minute I was in bright sunlight, doing about 70 mph (112 kph) and enjoying the ride. The next I was in almost night conditions and down to about 15 mph (24 kph).     Squeaky bottom time. Just after I took photograph I saw a car which had slid and hit the central reservation, no one hurt thankfully. Just a little later I came across a motor cyclist who had also slid in the icy conditions but was unhurt.

Within ten minutes of the blizzard striking I was back in bright sunlight, enjoying the ride again. That’s winter for you….

This will probably be my last post for 2011. So all that remains for me to do is wish you all a Healthy and Happy New Year for 2012.

Mike

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34 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Winter

  1. Cheryl December 30, 2011 / 20:24

    Yikes!

    Like

    • Mike Hardisty December 30, 2011 / 20:29

      Hi Cheryl…At the time it was more than yikes I was saying. It came down so fast and as you can see we were down to one lane very quickly. Fortunately I have got 4-wheel drive and I have driven in heavy snow before so I just slowed down and took it easy.

      Like

  2. Steve Ransome December 30, 2011 / 22:46

    Nightmare Mike, but what do you do? Keep going and hope no idiot hits you up the bum!!

    Like

    • Mike Hardisty December 31, 2011 / 09:52

      Steve, fortunately the traffic wasn’t too heavy but it was a case of putting the fog lights on and hoping that someone didn’t plough into the back. Good thing though, everyone slowed down and started to open up a wider gap between each other. For once some sensible driving…

      Like

  3. Meg Glidden December 30, 2011 / 23:41

    Ahhh, this brings back memories of 360ing in a blizzard in Chicago. I’m a much more careful driver now…

    Like

    • Mike Hardisty December 31, 2011 / 09:54

      Meg, since I retired I drive much slower now. I used to be one of those who was always over the speed limit rushing to get somewhere.

      Like

  4. jakesprinter December 31, 2011 / 00:45

    Wow this is amazing shot ,a great entry for this week topic :)

    Like

    • Mike Hardisty December 31, 2011 / 09:55

      Thanks. The whole time I was in Scotland I had to cope with snow, it’s nice to have 4 wheel drive

      Like

  5. Brenda Spiller December 31, 2011 / 01:05

    Wow! That’s definitely winter, scary winter! great shot :)

    Like

  6. Northern Narratives December 31, 2011 / 01:16

    Happy 2012 :)

    Like

    • Northern Narratives December 31, 2011 / 22:03

      And thank you for the pingback.

      Like

  7. Jo Bryant December 31, 2011 / 02:25

    Well – it may be miserable weather here but I am glad I am not out in that

    Like

  8. hugmamma December 31, 2011 / 07:37

    tricky weather to be out and about driving…how did you manage this shot?

    hugs for the new year…and beyond… :)

    Like

    • Mike Hardisty December 31, 2011 / 10:04

      I realised earlier this year that I was missing some great photo opportunities because I wasn’t carrying my camera (DSLR) with me. So I bought myself a little p+s that I could carry everywhere with me. I was going slow enough to be able to take this with that camera

      Like

  9. pix & kardz December 31, 2011 / 08:29

    definitely winter!
    thanks for sharing this great take.

    Like

  10. eeryweerywoe December 31, 2011 / 09:10

    Great photo and story. I am from Scotland and this story is all too familiar.

    Like

    • Mike Hardisty December 31, 2011 / 10:08

      It’s not often I get back to Scotland these days and every time I travel that M74 there’s some sort of incident on it. In the summer it was a lorry lost control and managed to block the motorway. Last year (2010) I hit snow, when it wasn’t predicted.

      Like

  11. Cardinal Guzman December 31, 2011 / 11:27

    Thanks for the pingback Mike. It can be exhausting to drive in those conditions: low visibility and slippery roads. I’ve spun around a few times during winter ;)

    Like

  12. Huffygirl December 31, 2011 / 14:05

    Wonderful winter story and photo. I’m thinking that when you said “hit the central reservation…” that would be what I would call the median (the strip of grass separating the two sets of lanes)?

    Like

      • Mike Hardisty December 31, 2011 / 14:48

        Your welcome. I always use Zemanta to find the WordPress blogs that are taling about the weekly challenge…

        Like

    • Mike Hardisty December 31, 2011 / 14:47

      Exactly right, excep in the UK the central reservation is a small strip of land with steel barriers on it. I think the idea is to stop vehicles crossing over into the opposite carriageway.

      Like

  13. tmso December 31, 2011 / 17:13

    That picture looks like it could have been taken along Highway 80 going over Donner Summit in California. Funny how life can be so similar all the way across the world. Happy New Year to you, too!

    Like

  14. thirdhandart December 31, 2011 / 17:45

    At first, I thought you were driving down the wrong side of the rode in a blizzard. Had to wrap my brain around the fact that in Scotland people drive on the opposite side of the road than people in the US. Glad that you made it through the blizzard ok. Great winter photo for the challenge! Happy New Year!

    Like

  15. Patti Kuche January 1, 2012 / 21:29

    My goodness, that looks familiar. Stay safe and Happy New Year to you!

    Like

  16. Amar Naik January 2, 2012 / 01:00

    great shot. happy new year

    Like

  17. Madman January 3, 2012 / 14:09

    Scary at least: slippery, dark, cold and hostile. A great shot :-) Thanks for the share!

    Like

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