Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Storm of the Century... Well Perhaps Just This Year

They've been talking about this storm for several days but I take a meteorologist's forecast with a grain of salt. They almost always over promise and under deliver, which in most cases is a good thing, but when you have a snow blower just itching to be used in deep snow, I've been hoping that for once they were right. At least on the snow part anyway, to all my southern bloggers in the ice zone, I still hope they are wrong.

So yesterday started off all right. I went to work and the snow started coming down by about eleven that morning and the wind kicked up to howling shortly after. I kept watch out the window but the road in front of my plant looked clear enough for winter so I wasn't too concerned. Finally computer frustrations caused me to call it a day earlier than I might have and go home. It was that darn wind that got me. While the road was clear, every place the wind eddied out, there was a couple feet of snow. At every intersection that wasn't on the main thoroughfare through town, there was a ridge of snow two feet deep pushed up by the snow plows. This meant that getting on the thoroughfare meant sitting back thirty feet from the intersection and waiting for an extra large gap in traffic and then gunning it to burst through the drift without hitting the opposite curb. I was successful at getting on and off the thoroughfare and making it home but that is where I almost ran out of luck.

Stupid me, I thought I would back my car inside so that the driver's door opened toward the center of the garage towards the driver's side of our other vehicle that is pulled in for the exact same reason. I always do it that way because there just isn't enough room on the outside of the garage to open up a car door. But that meant driving just past my driveway and backing up towards the garage, uphill. Nothing doing. So I pulled down the hill to the next street and turned around and tried to make my way back up the hill thinking I can back down the hill into my driveway. Also nothing doing. So since the coast was clear, I just backed up the street until I started up the next hill and then floored it back towards my house.

That is where I learned that there is no flooring a front wheel drive vehicle with traction control. The engine self regulates itself so that the tires don't slip and the result was that with the gas pedal to the floor, I barely started creeping up the hill my driveway is on. I made it to just about even with my driveway and things came to a halt. After weighing my options, I did what hoped might work and that was just turn for my driveway and hoped that I was far enough up the slope to clear my mailbox. I did, just barely. I pulled into the garage, climbed over through the passenger side to get out of the vehicle since my driver's side door was only inches from the storage shelves and called it a day. Sitting here inside where the temperature is a bit warmer and the resulting increase of blood flow to my brain has resumed, I realize the best option would have been to turn off the traction control with the little switch to the left of the steering wheel and proceeded to floor it. Next time I hear about the storm of the century on the way, I'll write that idea down on my hand so that I can remember it. Dang technology anyway.

Fortunately we didn't get but a light dusting of ice and as of dark fall last night, perhaps six to ten inches of snow with upwards of a foot more still on the way. Because I am writing this before bed to be posted this morning to you readers, I am anticipating that I will be out trying out my snowblower in order to get out of my driveway and perhaps make it to work. I hope I have an easier time getting out of it than in.  I'll see if I can get a good picture of the aftermath. Hope everyone south survived the ice and everyone to the north and east of here in the direction of the storm are all warm and cozy.


Bone said...

with the gas pedal to the floor, I barely started creeping up the hill my driveway is on.

I had a car like that once. But it had nothing to do with traction control or self-regulation :o)

Three Score and Ten or more said...

Time flies when you're having fun.