Last June, I bought tickets for an April 11 concert at the State Theater in Minneapolis on April 11. That’s 10 months in advance of the concert date. That’s a lot of lead time.
When I bought those tickets it seemed like a long way into the future. As usual, my biggest question was what day of the week the event was on. When you work at a weekly newspaper, the day of the week matters almost more than anything else.
With that in mind, April 11, a Thursday, seemed like a workable date to plan a late afternoon drive to the Twin Cities and a much later drive back. Although I hate that long late night drive home, I’m willing to do it for the right reason. This seemed like the right reason.
I’ve wanted to see Napa Valley -based blues and soul singer Boz Scaggs in concert since I was in college. We had tickets to see him a couple of years ago but other plans came up and we sold them. That close call made this concert all the more tempting. Besides, the concert was on a day and on a date that worked well.
Based on what we have seen in the past several years, I figured that April 11 was sure to be past the time when we could have any possible spring run-off flooding. It seemed like a good time to go so I bought the tickets, all those months ago.
That April 11 date has been circled on our calendar for months and when it finally rolled around last week, just like I figured, we didn’t have a flood. Instead, we had a snow storm.
Folks were late for work. School was called off and snow was coming down faster than expected. Early that morning I would have bet that there would be no way I was going to be to driving to Minneapolis.
By late morning, things were looking better although we had plenty of new snow and our driveway needed some serious snow removal attention.
At two o’clock, I figured we might as well give it a try. After all, what’s to lose? Maybe we’ll join other stranded travelers in the Olivia Armory for the night, sleeping on Army cots.
That idea went by the wayside as roads were much better than we expected, except for some of that dreaded slush that tosses your car around like you were driving on a road made of ball bearings.
Page 2 of 2 - But the further east we got, the better the roads were. After leaving Danube, we were driving on clear, but wet roads with hardly any other traffic and a temperature of 35 degrees. Not too bad.
Because there were fewer cars, there was no rush hour delay in the cities at four o’clock and we were parked in downtown Minneapolis by 4:15. Cody and Seth, our urban lifestyle sons, joined us for a quick bite to eat and we were early into the lobby of the gorgeous old restored theater.
The concert was as good or better than I expected, lasting nearly two hours with no intermission. It was snowing when we headed for our car and it snowed heavier as we headed west.
By the time we got to Chaska the road was getting painted with while slush, splattering everywhere. It only got worse the further west we drove.
We were paying the price for that easy trip into the Twin Cites. This drive home was giving me white knuckles but we mushed on like a sledge in the Yukon. Gradually, somewhere during the longest eight miles on Earth -between Bird Island and Hector, the travel conditions began to get better and they improved as we drove west.
That is until we pulled into our snow-clogged driveway at 1 a.m. and got stuck. We solved that problem in a few minutes and finally parked the car for the night. At least it’s April. Isn’t it?