Today my wife and I drove down to Bloomington-Normal to finish our Christmas shopping. It wasn’t an optimal time for travel since it snowed much of the day, but she didn’t work today and we figured the stores would be less crowded on a weekday than the weekend before Christmas.

We were pleasantly surprised to find Interstate 39 almost completely clear of snow during both legs of our day trip. The Illinois Department of Transportation should be commended for that, especially when the same couldn’t be said of the Twin Cities’ main shopping corridor. The two or three inches of snow that fell this afternoon came down much faster than it was cleaned up there. Then freezing rain started to give the snow a dangerous glaze as we headed back home.

It could’ve been worse, I suppose. In the Chicago area, the snowstorm caused traffic delays of up to three hours on the expressways. Good thing we didn’t decide to shop up there.