Photo by Margaret Chant and edited by Jessica Metropulos

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Good Intentions, Anyway...

One of the top things that people say they miss when they move from the midwest to a warmer climate, is the lack of seasons...they say warm all the the time gets old. I say they're crazy.

We got about 6 inches of snow last night, enough to cause administrators around the area to call school off, etc. When school is called off in WI, most of the time, you KNOW there's a good reason for it, because if the plows can't get it done, no one's driving anywhere. That being said, what better way to start out the day than go for a drive, eh?

I spent most of my morning at Warren's, doing some work on the computer, chatting over coffee, and just hanging out with my boy. We had a fantastic time, I don't usually get that much quality time with him during the week because he's working a lot, etc. He had to work tonight, as well, so I was "booted" at 2:30 so he could get ready.

I decided to head for the farm, since it was a gorgeous day after snowfall. Perfect temperature to hop on and go for a bareback "dash through the snow".

Richard's drive way has always been some cause for concern to me during the winter, having a 2WD car, and usually by mid December, I'm left to park at the top of the hill that goes down to the driveway. Today, I wasn't entirely sure on the traction, so I did a fairly classic traction test: Try reversing out every couple of feet until you start to feel the slightest inkling of slipping. If you feel that AT ALL, DO NOT PROCEED. I did this going down the hill, and didn't hit a single spot I couldn't back out of, so I just let myself creep down the hill slowly, and went up the other side. This side of the hill has NEVER (Never say never?) given me a problem during the winter. It's a straight shot up, not very steep, and doesn't drift badly at all, and usually, there's at least a little bit of gravel to get a grip on. Today's conditions looked no different. I started to climb the hill at about 15 mph, as usual, and got nearly to the top, and then felt the thing EVERYONE dreads. My tires started to spin and give way to the soft but "full-bodied" snow.

Now at this point, I realized I wasn't going to crest the hill. The smart thing to do would have been to park the car and run into Richard's on foot and grab our ever-present bucket of wood ash, come back, dump it in my slippery spot, and continue driving. Of course, I'm not that smart. So, what do I do? I decide I should probably back down the hill and get a better "running start". WRONG. As SOON as I started to back, I started to slide. I cranked my wheel around to try to get back on the road, and instead of straightening up, I slid more crooked. When I looked out my rear-view and saw the ditch I was already 1/2 into, I realized that I was just downright screwed. I half heartedly tried to drive out, realized that it was hopeless, put the car in park, and trudged into the farm to do feed, anyway.

Richard and I will pull the car out tomorrow (would have tonight, but the sun was setting by the time he got there, and he didn't have his tire chains) so all is not lost, but I'm disgusted with my stupid decision. Ah well...such is winter in WI. My intentions were good, at least. Thank goodness for warm savvy places like Florida :)


N. said...

They closed the school for six inches of snow? Seriously? I'm not criticizing; I'm amazed! We got a foot of snow overnight on Friday, and they still haven't cleared the side streets. The main city streets still have snow and slush, albeit less than there was.
I guess that they figure around here that if you can't get around in your own vehicle, you can take the bus because the bus routes are the first (and seemingly only) streets to get plowed.
The only time I remember our schools closing was when it was -35C/-31F because the school buses wouldn't run. But, if you weren't a bus student you were kind of expected to show up anyway. When the schools were really closed, as in no one would be there, you knew it was really bad lol.

Your story makes me glad I have a Subaru now. Last winter I had a RW drive Crown Vic, and the driveway where I keep my horses goes up a steep hill and around a corner to get out. Let's just say that some days last year, I just didn't go! Glad you got out safely though :)

Tina said...

I hate winter. Hate it. I feel for ya...MN is no better!