Monday, December 14, 2015

Winter Arrives

We get snow storms here in Utah.  We like them: it means water for our yards in the summer.  But every once in awhile, the storm is ill-timed and particularly hard.  That was the case today.  After some unseasonably warm temperatures for a week, a low pressure system moved through bringing cold air and lots of precipitation.

I awoke at 2:30 a.m. hearing a snow plow going up our steep hill.  I looked out and felt a little sick at how much snow had fallen.  I have to leave the house by 6 to go look after the grandkids and get them off to school.  There was no going back to sleep.  At 3:15, I got up and brewed the coffee and played a little Scrabble and Sudoku and watched the weather.  It was snowing hard and not letting up.  My hopes of just driving over and inch or two in the driveway were lost.  At least six inches by that time.  I would have to shovel.

It took 40 minutes to clear the driveway; and there was already an inch or so accumulated again by the time I finished.  Frankie and I headed down the hill at a bare 2 MPH pace until we reached flat ground and then picked up to 20.  Getting home later would be more of an adventure than I wanted.

To get up my hill, you need to get a bit of a run on it and then don't stop.  No brakes, steady gas at just the right pace and steering to cancel out any sliding.  You've got a steep straight stretch followed by two curves and a short straight stretch, all steep, to get to my house.  If I hit the garage opener just after the second curve, the door will be up; and with momentum, I'll glide right into my garage.  You can do it if you have good snow tires, which I do, and if no-one in front of you spins out and forces you to stop or lose your momentum.

Today, as I first approached the hill, I saw a school bus coming down sliding and a little sideways.  Too risky for me, so I turned off and went around the block to start up again.  This time I was behind a guy who was spinning his tires before we ever got to the steep part. I don't want to be behind him, so I turn off and I go around again.  The third time the hill is clear ahead.  I go for it and do fine until the second curve where a truck with a landscaping trailer coming downhill is stopped right on the curve in the middle of the road and clearing snow off his windows.  I'm just three houses away from home.  I get around him okay but damned if the spinning tire guy isn't now right there in front of me barely moving.  I attempt to pass him on the left him since I still have momentum and don't want to stop.  But that means pulling into deep snow on the left where I promptly get stuck.  I pull over as far to the left as I can and wait for spinning tire guy to pass my house.  Then I back carefully downhill into the plowed area in the middle of the street.  Thankfully, I am able to get enough traction to get going again despite the icy road, and make it two more houses and slip and slide up the driveway through four or so inches of new snow, and into my garage.  Feeling pretty teed off right now at the truck that chose to stop right on that curve instead of pulling forward a little and out of traffic.  Also teed off at spinning tire guy for living on this steep hill and not having decent tires on his car.

But I made it.  And I'll stay in now for a few hours before I go out and shovel some more.  I put bird seed in some feeders under the covered patio; and all the little birds are already telling their friends.  The snow is supposed to continue all day today, tonight and tomorrow.  At this rate, we'll end up with two feet.  We need it.  We love it.  But oh what it does to the driving conditions!

Here's the backyard after I got home.

This last one was at 5 a.m. before shoveling