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Dulles Meltdown, Part Deux

Carol Sottili

My colleague Andrea wrote a fun blog item on Feb. 22 -- "Dulles Meltdown" -- about how the Disrict of Columbia Parking Associates guys helped extricate her car from a glacier in the economy parking lot at Dulles. Here's my own snowed-in-at-the-Dulles-economy-lot saga:

Have scraper? Will travel. (AP Photo, Chris Russell)

My husband and I parked our car in a nice dry, clear spot on a sunny day in mid-February. But, while we were enjoying sunny Spain, D.C. was hammered by that ice/snow/freezing rain mess. Looking ahead, smart hubbie had the presence of mind when we parked to pull the windshield wipers up (this way they don't stick to an icy windshield), but our car was stuck solid. Not being as cute as Andrea, we didn't have anyone official hurrying over to help us (full disclosure -- we didn't look for anyone). We got the wheels to spin, burning lots of rubber in the process, but still no movement. A young guy who wanted our parking space tried to help push, but nothing. Then, an "aha!" moment: My husband placed the car mats underneath the front wheels (our car has front-wheel drive) and, voila, we were free!

Who knew you could find car tips in the travel blog?

By Carol Sottili |  March 2, 2007; 9:50 AM ET  | Category:  Carol Sottili , Tales from the Road
Previous: Ooh La La | Next: The Master That Must Be Obeyed. Grrrrrr!

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A few years ago my husband and I flew back into BWI after a major snowstorm over President's Day weekend. There was so much snow in the lot that we had a hard time picking our car out of the white mounds in the row where we'd left it. We'd put a couple of shovels in the trunk (I was trained by the Girls Scots of America to be prepared!) and got to work. However BWI had pairs of workers with shovels roaming the parking lots, and 4 guys pitched in to get us out really quickly. We then joined them to help several single women nearby. These guys worked quickly and efficiently and refused tips. Turned out to be a great day!

Posted by: Karen | March 2, 2007 11:35 AM

My friend and I went to Colorado to ski many years ago, parking at Regan. Colorado was having a snow-drought, but while we were gone, this area was hammered. We came back to a very buried car, and no shovels. Turns out that skis can be used to dig tire-track sized paths to get out. :)

Posted by: skiing traveler | March 2, 2007 1:00 PM

I had the same thing happen to me at the Philly airport a couple of weeks ago. Great idea with the floor mats and leaving the wipers up off the glass. I would add that it helps to back into the space. I had to put my car in reverse, get out and rock it back and forth, then jump back in before crashing into the row of cars behind me.

Posted by: Ed | March 2, 2007 1:20 PM

A neighbor in my apartment used a floor mat the other week. The spinning wheels melted the mat to his tire. So it doesn't always work.

Posted by: Jeff | March 2, 2007 2:18 PM

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