Thursday, December 04, 2008

thin ice

When I woke yesterday I glanced out the window and realized the first light snowfall had arrived.

1/2 an inch to an inch, not terrible, and managable.

Until we got into the car.

I have a all wheel drive car, and grew up driving in snow and ice. In fact I learned how to drive a stick shift in the dead of winter on side streets with my elderly but kind drivers ed teacher.

I was like whatever.

Until I hit the road.

I assumed our street was slick, because it is a side street, and the city does not tend to those.

WE head 1/2 block to a very busy intersection, I was driving about 15 miles per hour. The intersection is on a hill. There were 4 vehicles in front of me. I saw the minivan full of children slide sideways when she applied her brakes, and she slid into the intersection. I took my foot off the gas.

At this point I note, the city had not been out at all.


The little bit of snow we had, was soooo packed, from all of the traffic, it had turned into a thin layer of ice. Ice that lasted the entire drive to school. What normally is a 20 minute process, turned into about 1 1/2 hours. It is at best 2 miles.

I coasted there, I hardly stepped on the gas, and maintained a speed less than 8 mph. No joke. the worst part was all of the impatient folks driving. Creating havoc, and honking. People, SLOW down.

How slick was it? In the 1 mile to school (ON A MAIN ROAD) I saw 3 cars in ditches, and 2 small accidents. The drive home, was not bad, because why I was dropping SR off at school, the city drove the beet juice truck by and the ice magically disappeared.

It was so icy I saw a 4 WD stuck, spinning his wheels. He was behind a small accident, and because of the stopped traffic, he could not pick up any momentum. He was also in a residential area full of children walking, and cars parked on either side of the road, he had no place to turn the wheel etc. He needed a push, and frankly I wasn't about to give him one, if I stopped to help, I would have the same problem. I drove around him and looked at him "I am sorry"....

It was very slick, and I am disappointed that the city did not have the trucks out sooner. Can you imagine driving a school bus, or daycare bus on that crap? It was frightening.

Lincoln is typically a little fast on the ice removal, but yesterday, well it was not a good day.

A very good reintroduction to me on driving on ice.


Ellen said...

Ugh. I so do not miss that part of having snow. I always liked driving a stick shift in that crap because at least then you can downshift to slow down without actually braking. That being said, I was always glad I had a brother with 4WD and a tow strap. Glad you made it safely!

Anonymous said...

I tried to post this yesterday about wool socks. I love wool sock. I buy SMARTWOOL socks on sale and they're lifesavers.

I am the exact opposite of you. I love snow, love ice, love love love the COLD. And yes, I mean REAL cold. We moved here to VA from Alaska and I miss it terribly. And no, I am not romanticizing snow. I really miss it.

I do hope you stay safe and warm.


Some Soldier's Mom said...

you know what they say about 4WD: they will get you to GO, but when you leave the road all 4 wheels will be spinning at the same rate (i.e., they will not help you stp). And I always wound up (back in NY) with the guy with the pickup who actually believed that he and only he could drive 55 in a blinding snow storm while everyone else was creeping along (and he was usually the guy in the ditch 2 miles further up the road!)

Rachelle Jones said...

SSM my Dad said the SAME thing!