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Winter Driving: Tiptoe Through the Tule: Driving in thick fog
Posted by R. Wesley Lovil, Feb 24, 2013. 957 views. ID = 6148

Winter Driving: Tiptoe Through the Tule

Posted by R. Wesley Lovil, Feb 24, 2013. 957 views. ID = 6148
This post was written in 16 minutes.
It's certainly not the way you want to run into new customers
This post has been awarded 11 stars by 3 readers.

I was not exactly pleased when the company added the southern half of the San Joaquin Valley to my district. This part of the state is mostly farm and oil with small communities supporting them and the only big 'city' being Bakersfield. My first responsibility was to try to grow enough business to be able to get a support staff to run the territory. This meant spending hours on the road between these small towns, many with maybe only one or two probable customers among them.

As I drove down the Grapevine into the valley on the first day of my new adventure, I ran into the local weather phenomena know as Tule Fog. This fog builds up along the tule grasslands usually after a heavy rain and is exceptionally thick. I had been warned about this fog and I had seen news stories about massive chain reaction accidents caused by the limited visibility, sometimes involving hundreds of vehicles. However, as a person who grew up in a beach town I thought I was prepared enough to drive in foggy weather so I wasn't that worried.

The highway was crowded with morning traffic and as long as I could see the taillights of the car in front of me, I was not too concerned. Soon it was so thick I couldn't even see taillights unless I was right on the bumper of the car ahead of me. I kept slowing down, yet the cars and trucks around me were speeding by as if they could see just fine. Visions of an 18-wheeler crashing into me then pushing me into the car in front of me kept flashing through my head. I wanted to get off the highway but by the time I could find an off ramp I would already be driving by it, I thought about pulling off to the side of the road but if there was a big wreck an out of control vehicle could easily hit me where I parked. Luckily, the car in front of me knew where he was going and when he pulled off the highway, I followed him and found a safe place to park. There was no hundred car wrecks that morning and as I had breakfast in the local diner all the people I talked to said that this was no big fog, just wait until the real Tule hits. I was fortunate enough never to be trapped in another Tule Fog while I was there. It felt as if I was driving inside a cotton ball and I have never been as frightened in a car as I was that day.

Copyright 2013 R. Wesley Lovil. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 11 stars by 3 readers.
This post is part of a writing prompt: Winter Driving

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