We’ve been getting dustings for a couple of weeks but last night and today Mother Nature got serious – we got 7″ of snow. I’m not ready…!
Last night we had loaded pigs to take to the butcher. Like fools we set out early this morning, despite the road conditions. Normally our rule is that if the conditions are bad we stay home. We should have. We made it down the mountain but going up the next one Holly spun the big van in a 180 on the highway and slammed into the guardrail. The impact was hard. I peered down over the rail into the ravine as we came to a stop. Fortunately we didn’t flip over and in for the long plunge.
Now headed down the mountain in the other lane Holly put on the hazards and carefully pulled back onto the road and drove to a side road. The van seemed to be working but I cringed at what I would see. I got out and inspected the van. Nothing wrong – Amazing. Not even scratches. I was sure the front end and my side were going to be totally crumpled, the lights and grill smashed, maybe the passenger side front wheel impacted. After that crash it was hard to believe Holly was even able to drive away from the guardrail. Yet, there was no damage.
I think what happened was she hit the railing at exactly the right angle such that the bumper absorbed all the energy and we were spinning so much of the energy got translated into rotation. Good thing we always wear our seat belts. I also suspect that the big van, really a truck, is built a lot more ruggedly than something like our older mini-van.
Holly wasn’t going fast – I think what happened is that the road is banked and maybe we were even going too slow for the curve. With the slick coating the rear wheels succeeded in continuing up the hill while the front end drifted downhill into the curve. Pretty soon we were spinning out of control despite Holly’s efforts to turn into the skid. The rear wheel drive of the bigger van is very different than driving the old front wheel drive mini-van.
We switched seats and I drove home. Normally Holly does most of the driving. I might go for six or eight months without driving the van – just tractor time. Holly half jokes that she saves me for when it gets difficult and dangerous. A rather odd way to do things. You would think it better for me to drive regularly and keep in practice. Instead I only end up driving a few times a year when my fast reflexes serve the need. The related joke is I’m clumsy but I’m fast – I’ll drop something three times but it will never hit the floor as I re-catch it every time. Just call me handy.
Coming up our dirt road the van fish tailed a lot on the slick mud under the layer of snow. If only the ground were frozen it would have been easy. I made it most of the way up Sugar Mountain. I knew we wouldn’t be able to get the rest of the way so I parked in a safe place at the bottom of the steepest stretch. From there we walked up the last half mile in the driving snow. After warming up I got the tractor. Holly went down with me and we hooked up the logging chains from the tractor to the front frame of the van. The tractor, with it’s wide stance, low geared power and especially those huge studded tire chains was able to easily pull the van up the mountain. I noted there were big wheel tracks onthe road – the town dump truck had almost slid off on that steep stretch. Treacherous. Not a day to be out and about.
As of this evening the snow has settled to about 4″ on the ground and more is coming out of the sky. I can’t see from the cottage to the road through the falling snow. We still have many outdoor projects to complete before winter. Fortunately the snow will melt and the next few weeks are predicted to be warm and dry. But I’ve heard Mother Nature’s warning. Winters coming – Time to trim our project tree…
Outdoors: 59°F/24°F 7″ Snow
Farm House: 56°F/49°F Attempted delivery of pigs to butcher
Tiny Cottage: 43°F/37°F nada