Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Adventures in the Snow ~ Or White Knuckle Drive



When I left work this morning, it was just raining in the Mississippi Valley.
I could see the wind blowing snow on the bluffs above me as I turned East to head up the Genoa Hill and begin my long
and
winding
way
homeward.

At the top of the hill was a red car in the ditch...it looked like someone had stopped on a side road and had gone over to help push.

I then realized as I slowly drove down the east side of the steep and twisted hill that things on the ridge were bad.
Very very bad.
I even wondered if I'd get out of Romance Valley.
For on the other side of the valley was a steep hill the locals call 'Harder Hill' [maybe because it is so hard to get up when the roads are bad?...surely not!].

Steep - long - but not as twisted as the Genoa Hill.

And so my grip tightened on the wheel and I 'felt' for how the old '95 Cavalier was responding to the icy slush slippery snow on the road.

Wondering if I should have been more insistent on snow tires last week when it was 60 degrees and sunny.

The valley was nice, even the road was mostly clear.

I approached the bottom of Harder Hill and hit it. I needed to get the speed up while the road way still was clear.

Part way up the hill, it turned to a slick dangerous road.

I could feel the front end slip a bit, eased off the gas..
it took a bite and we slowly lost speed and climbed the hill.

I was using all of my years of experience in snow driving and was grateful that I was not a fresh driver. I felt it slip.
I made adjustments.

By the time we [the Cavalier and I...for we were a team, that is how I feel about winter driving ~ strange I suppose!] made the top of the ridge...
my legs were shaking from the rush of adrenaline.

The rest of the drive was still pretty awful. Especially when a beauty of a buck with a huge rack came charging across the road in front of a vehicle ahead of me.

White outs made parts of the road impossible to find. The wet heavy snow was actually trying to drift in the open areas.
Ice-slush clumped up on my wipers...

I made a mad dash up the gravel road hill after sliding 'down' to the curve.
When I parked and stepped out of the Cavalier, I gently touched its hood and patted it, saying a mental 'thank you'.

Then I turned and admired the beauty that had made my drive such hell.
Well, it was quite stunning.
Two days ago we had been enjoying a beautiful autumn day...
and now...
Welcome to Wisconsin Winter!

3 comments:

Rose said...

So glad you made it safely. As you say, it is dangerous, but is also beautiful. But not nice to drive in. We are getting the same last night and today. Wet slushy stuff.

Val said...

Thanks, wicked wicked driving!

Rachel said...

Beautiful, but this southerner would probably have a nervous breakdown trying to navigate those roads!