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Were you expecting something else?

February 13, 2007, 11:57 PM

I got home after a very hellish drive back from work through heavy sleet and freezing rain, and Mom says to me, “You’re alive!” My exact response was, “Were you expecting something else?”

Let me tell you, though… in the year that I’ve had the Sable, this makes snowstorm #3 (one last year, two so far this year). And the Sable does so much better than the Previa did in bad weather. Driving the Previa in bad winter weather was kind of like playing Russian roulette. You never knew what was going to happen. The front of the car had a tendency to wobble a bit due to the engine’s location closer to the center of the car than the front, and correcting that made for a very unpleasant ride home, and on more than one occasion, caused me to briefly lose control.

I remember one time spinning out on ice in the neighborhood. I remember spinning counter-clockwise, and was convinced that I was heading for the ditch, and possibly into someone’s mailbox, and in that short time that I was spinning, basically resigned myself to that fate. But I ended up just spinning out on the road, and all I had to do was get pointed right again, and I was able to continue.

Then of course, there was the time when I ran off the road and had to get a tow truck to fish me out. I survived unscathed, but I was a bit annoyed.

Today, though, was at least fresh sleet, which is easier to handle than ice and snow that’s been driven on a few times. I feel like I have more traction in fresh snow or sleet that’s not been compacted a lot. That goes for in the car, as well as on foot. The trick today was clearing the windows. The car was a real pain to scrape clean this evening, and I even had to stop a mile or so away from work to do a little additional scraping, since I’d missed a few spots that were impeding the windshield wipers’ performance. Plus it turns out that I’d beaten the snow plows. The only plowed road I saw was Route 608 in Stuarts Draft, and even that was partial (only one lane), and the guy was in the process of doing it when I went by.

Meanwhile, at this rate, where am I going tomorrow? Nowhere. As luck would have it, I was scheduled off Wednesday. Katie and I were possibly going to go out for coffee, but I think I’d be safe to say ix-nay on that unless we have a tremendous improvement on the roads, and I just don’t see that happening.

But at least I don’t have to drive in to work tomorrow…

Web site: I still think back on this ice storm, when we were snowed in for several days at JMU.

Song: Theme to The $25,000 Pyramid

Quote: This drive, by the way, would be something I would describe as things getting hairy...

Categories: Driving, Winter weather