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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

The Story of Plowing in the Storm

Well, I figured I'd better sit down to relay my plowing experiences during the big storm on the 15th before I forgot the details. So, here goes.
It was now Thursday, and it had been snowing steadily and heavily since Wednesday morning. I'd driven up the previous night (Wednesday) to plow, and there had already been 8-10" of the white stuff to wade through. So now, it's 1:45 Thursday afternoon, and I head out. I stopped at the post office for the mail and asked the postmaster if her brother (the county plow operator who manages our end of the county) had made it up the main road yet. She said that yes, she'd heard that he'd made it up but probably not back down yet. That was good - it meant that I had at least one side (my side) of the road plowed to drive on.
As I drove farther away from the lake and up over the hill I was . . . what's the word? Not stunned, but definitely a bit wary by the amount of snow. Holy Hannah! The snowplow had carved a surprisingly small width out of the main road, and the unplowed side was impassable. Two cars meeting would have had an up-close-and-personal time getting past each other.
About half-way up I met the plow coming back down, and he stopped and opened his door. He knew where I was going, took a look at the truck and the plow, and said, "There's no way you're gonna get in with that. I've seen guys burying plows like that already today, and you're stuck forever then. I haven't had time to plow out the turn-around at the end of your road yet, and there's a solid 5' high bank in front of it. You're never gonna get through it with that." I replied that I had my shovel along, meaning that I would shovel through the hard-packed bank to get into our 4-mile winter driveway. He thought I meant that I had my shovel just in case I got stuck, I think, and that I would try to bust through the snowbank. But, we said our goodbyes and good-lucks, and I continued on my way.
When I got to our road, sure enough there was a BIG, SOLID bank of snow. I tried a couple of gos at pushing through it, but he was right: there was no way. So, rather than pushing it further and risking getting stuck, I got out my shovel and set to work. Half an hour or so later I had a very narrow - just wide enough - path cut through to drive through. So, I backed up as far as I could, dropped the plow, and stepped on the gas.
Once I was onto our road (you could NOT tell that I had plowed those 8-10" from last night, but thank goodness I had!), I realized that my mantra was going to be "don't stop!" So, hoping I was doing an accurate job of centering myself on the road, I just slowly but steadily plodded on towards Swamp River Ridge. The snow was so deep that it curled above the top of the plow. Occasionally, it mounted up to such a huge weight in front of the truck that I did have to stop, reverse, and then hit the created snowbank full-bore - and hope that the force didn't push me to one side or the other and into the ditch. But, I got into our place without too much trouble, happy all the time that my parents had raised me the way they had - to be able to handle situations like this so well! (Ah-hem, just wait).
Once I got up the driveway to our place, just getting my body into the garage where the phone system is was another challenge! The snow was well over my knees, and poor Maisy was floundering in the stuff. But, I checked in with my mom and told her that I was going to head right back out to make a pass back out to the main road and then another in. I would call again in two hours.
So, off I went thinking how wise I was to widen the road as much as I could to prepare for further snows. And, yes, that is a good idea . . . as long as you don't try to widen the road so much that you get both passenger-side tires down into the soft stuff at the side of the road . . . and then get the truck totally sucked into the ditch! "[Four-letter word]! I was stuck."
I got out to look over the situation. I was two miles from the property and two miles from the main road. It didn't seem too bad, though, so I shoveled a bit and then tried to bust the beast out. I succeeded . . . in truly burying the entire passenger side of the truck pretty much right up to the windows. Now I was REALLY stuck. I had the come-along winch with me, but there were NO big trees anywhere across the road (about the only stretch where there weren't). Oh, and I had been planning to go into town that evening after plowing because the truck was almost out of gas. With all the revving I'd been doing trying to get unstuck, I had used up what gas I had, and now the truck was dying at regular intervals.

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