The hurricane driving was alright. Actually, we left on Thursday night to try to avoid the bulk of the storm, which was scheduled to hit Johnstown during the morning hours on Friday.

I think this was the second most frightening turnpike trip I’ve ever taken. It was dark, of course, and there was rain everywhere. Wind was blowing all sorts of tree detritus not just onto the road but into the air above the road, swirling in the driving vision of the headlights. I guess we had just passed the mountains having come out of the tunnels when we came to follow a minivan. It was out about 50 yards or so, and all we could see was its tail lights. At one point, it simply seemed to swerve smoothly but suddenly to the left. I thought to myself, “That’s odd,” and was thinking about following them just when I saw what was going on. A huge tree had fallen completely across the cruising lane. Luckily I saw that minivan, because I didn’t see the tree until we were almost upon it. Berta and I just kind of sat there silent for a few moments until I asked her, “Did you see that? Did that just happen?”

There were quite a few fallen trees on the path and there were leaves, limbs, and twigs scattered everywhere, expecially going up the mountain on this side of Johnstown. Firetrucks had blocked the road while a crew pulled a fallen tree out of the way. This is a very dangerous twist of road that comes steeply down the side of a mountain, forest of trees on one side, sheer cliff on the other. It seemed like an easy place for people just to slide off the mountain.

When we finally got to the hotel, the wind was going pretty good, but the rain had temporarily stopped.  I had to re-park the car so that the wind wasn’t affecting the doors, since they were difficult to close with the wind blowing such as it was.

Friday was windy and cloudy, but wasn’t that bad.  As it turns out, the storm passed Johnstown and headed farther inland than was originally expected, hitting places like Ohio.  Saturday was perfect for the wedding, with the exception of a few marshy areas at the reception site.

In all, I don’t recommend driving during a hurricane, especially in the dark.