How rolling my truck on an icy road made me love Kansas City even more


You never want to see your car on the TV news, especially if it’s wrapped in police tape.

But that’s exactly the situation I found myself in one icy late February morning.

I was driving west on Ward Parkway when I hit a sheet of ice and started fishtailing. My tires wouldn’t catch — I slid for what felt like 100 feet before the road curved and my truck popped up on the curb. For one brief moment, I was relieved to be off the road without hitting another car. Then, my old Land Cruiser started rolling, eventually landing near the banks of Brush Creek.

I was wearing my seatbelt and traveling the speed limit. Still, I felt very blessed to be uninjured, save a shallow cut on the top of my head and scratched-to-hell glasses.

Turns out there were more than 300 wrecks around town that morning, thanks to black ice and the city’s depleted salt stores. I learned all this from a KCTV5 segment that featured my poor Cruiser lying on its side, filmed by a camera crew as I waited for the tow truck.

It was a rough day, to be sure. But it was also the day I was convinced that I’d made the right decision moving my family to Kansas City.

You can roll your truck pretty much anywhere. But what happens next depends on where you live. Having moved here from an angsty West Coast city, I was overwhelmed by the kindness, helpfulness and warmth of spirit of everyone I encountered in the aftermath.

I was immediately helped out of my still-running truck by some guys from a local landscaping crew who witnessed my slide. The police officer who showed up couldn’t have been nicer. The tow driver who flipped my rig over even got me to laugh about the mess.

Kansas City is known for its hospitality and warmth. It’s a reputation that’s very much deserved. This town has the best people you’re going to meet anywhere.

And now, I sure am excited for spring.

After that brutal winter, it was a relief to work on an issue dedicated to outdoor adventures. I can’t wait to ride some of the best bike paths in the city or check out favorite hiking trails from the guys who wrote the original hiking guide to Kansas City. Given my recent experiences with automobiles, I’m newly intrigued by the idea of living car-free in KC, as Bill Poindexter has done for the last decade. I’ll definitely be taking the advice of contributor Kim Horgan, an experienced cyclist who shares her itinerary for a perfect weekend ride on the Katy Trail.

An experience like a car crash reminds us that life is short and precious — and that we’re lucky to be spending it here, surrounded by great neighbors and a bounty of outdoor activities.

Hopefully this issue can be of some small assistance to you while planning a few adventures for the warm months to come.

Notable Numbers from our April Issue

1989 Year the first hiking guide to Kansas City was published. >>Read More

3,300 Miles for the longest direct flight from KCI. >>Read More

$11 Hourly rate for caregivers who serve adults with disabilities in Missouri. >>Read More

35 Years the space that now houses Michael Smith’s new restaurant Farina sat dark. >>Read More

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