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
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...
Welcome to Wisconsin Winter!