Thursday, November 30, 2006

Snow

It's been 10 years since I really drove in the snow. And even then I really don't remember driving that much. I remember picking Kevin up at Union Station in Tacoma and driving him back to PLU. I remember the brakes seemed a little funny, but we just attributed it to the snow only to later learn that only one of the four were actually working. I remember one time as a kid watching a guy spinning his wheels on a steep hill trying to get into our neighborhood and walking up to his car (in retrospect, not really a smart idea) and knocking on the window. When he rolled it down I told him that his front wheels were spinning really hard when he accelerated and that his chains were on his back tires. He rolled up his window and gave the car more gas. I remember seeing a big four-wheel-drive truck with Hawaii plates on it in the ditch. It was a Navy town, there were a lot of people who didn't know snow. I remember being on a bridge when it started snowing and then standing there for more than an hour for who knows what reason while the traffic didn't move. I remember just hanging out with my dad. I had been driving but when it looked like we'd be moving again and that there was now several inches of snow on the ground that we traded places and he took the wheel. I remember when our bus slid into the side of a Kitsap County Sheriff's car. I remember the white paint on the bus and the yellow and black paint on the side of the patrol car and us all sitting there quietly giggling while the sheriff wrote the driver a ticket. But I don't remember driving very much in the snow. And certainly not in the ice like we've had here.

But, honestly, is it that difficult? Apply pressure (brakes or gas) slowly. Test the surface of the ground. Leave lots of space between you and other cars. Drive closer to the curb in case you lose control. If it's been compacted and then refrozen, avoid the ruts where everyone else is driving in favor of the less traveled -- and therefore more bumpy -- places between the ruts. If you think you won't be able to start again, don't completely stop at stop signs.

There are so many idiots here who haven't figured it out. Cars abandoned everywhere and people sitting there spinning their tires while I drive slowly around them. Granted, traction control and abs brakes help, but even without them, it's not impassable.

The most fun came last night when I was trying to back into our driveway with Lori's truck. I was sideways on our incredibly steep street. I tried to go into reverse but the car started sliding down the hill sideways. I put it back into drive, drove down, quickly turned and raced back up the hill. No backing into the driveway for the moment. I wanted to drop off Lori and Rachel and go play but she didn't want me playing like that with her car.
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