Tuesday, December 20, 2005

drift



Danger still lurks, long after the snowstorm has passed. It's said the Eskimos have up to 40 words for snow, and this would represent the situation after a snowstorm of the variety that is a bit dry and grainy.

Farms and outbuilding or wooded areas along the roadway serve as a windbreak, preventing snow from blowing across the highway. In this case we're just passing a farm that's surrounded by woods and you can see the pavement is clear, but just ahead as the highway passes through open fields, the strong west wind has kicked up the snow, creating a drifting situation.

This can be dangerous especially if you're not familiar with the roads. On a bright sunny day you can come up over a hill, or around a bend to find the road is drifted shut. This can happen as fast as 10-15 minutes after the snow plows have passed through. My husband once drove up and over a small rise only to bury the nose of the car into a 6 foot drift. Now you're in trouble because if there's another vehicle coming up behind they'll plow into you. If you can get out of the car (think about pushing a car door open against chest deep snow) you'll be faced with trudging through deep snow. Some snow can support your weight and some cannot.

This is a situation we rarely face, as conditions must be right for the super drifting to occur. The trunk in winter contains - a blanket, a shovel, a bag of salt (for weight and traction), hazard marker, candy bars or granola bars (honestly, you never know), an old rug. The old rug can be wedged under a real tire to "grab" and get you out of some sticky situations.

I know alot of you live in warmer climates and can't understand it, but i count myself as one of those people who loves winter, loves the snow and loves the change of seasons and variety. To be a dyed in the wool midwesterner, you gotta love a challenge!

5 comments:

ROB said...

Excellent words to go along with that very cold looking scene. I am one of those that live in a warmer climate, but grew up in the great white north of Canada. I too loved winter and everything that it brings, especially the feeling that each season is distinct.

Lynne said...

I love being a Midwesterner because it gives you such an appreciation for each season -- both the mild and the wild... Great photo... and great reminder to pack a few more things for safety in my trunk!

srp said...

I was born in southern Indiana and lived for five years in Gary. My dad's family are farmers in southern Illinois. So he and I are technically the Yankees, although we have now lived longer in the South. We are hearty like midwesterners have to be. Even though I've lived in the south, I still carry cat litter (not clumping kind) in the trunk in winter. Ice happens even in Mississippi and it can make a difference in getting started or sitting and spinning. Its a bit funny though to be stopped at a light on icy roads and see a strange woman hop out of the car, sprinkle cat litter in front of the rear tires and hop back in before the light changes. However it is equally amusing to look in the rear view mirror as I go on my way and see them sitting there spinning tires going nowhere.

Floridacracker said...

Zanne,
I love winter. As you know from your FL days, heat and humidity rule for most of the year. I look at fall and winter as "blessed relief" from steamy heat.
Having spent a winter in the mountains of NC, I really admire those who drive well on icy, sloping roads. Scary stuff.

pablo said...

I love your pix, but I miss the way you can capture the sunlight.