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Photo by Will Swann on Unsplash

I love fog. Things shrouded in mist, whether it’s fields, woods or city streets always look nearly mystical, full of magic and mystery. In the case of fog in the wild of nature, I think of the legend of King Arthur and the fog-shrouded land of Wales. In the case of foggy city streets, there is always Sherlock Holmes on my mind. But, as usual, there are exceptions to the rule of loving fog.

During my last trip, we were driving through the dark countryside, at night. We were in Iowa, and the humidity was considerable. After a hot September day, the temperature still hovered in the 70s. My friend, Leslye, was driving, and I was riding shotgun, when I happened to look to the right of me — seeing the fog move in.

Tendrils of fog snaked themselves around trees and under bushes, covering fields. It wasn’t a solid bank of a cloud, but rather, here and there. That was lovely to look at — up until our windshield began to fog up.

This wasn’t a gradual situation — this was clarity one minute, no visibility the next. Leslye had to pull over, and because this was a rental vehicle, and we didn’t know where anything was, we began to push buttons, raising the heat, opening windows, and doing everything else in our power to clear the glass. Cleaning the windshield from the outside didn’t help matters, it only smeared the bug guts around and piled on more blurriness.

But we did eventually figure it out, defogged the windscreen, and continued on our way, albeit blasting warmish air out the front vents. In the confusion, I accidentally pushed the childproof door and window locks, so our friend, Kim, was stuck for a minute in the back the next day until we got that straightened out. It was such a terrifying thing, to not be able to see while hurtling through the night at 80 miles per hour, that it made me rethink the romance and beauty of fog. I still love it, but only when it’s outside, and I’m not driving around in it at high speeds. That’s my policy for rain and snow, as well.

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