Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Let it Snow
I am sitting at work, watching the snow flakes fall, winter is truly here. My car it covered and the long season of cleaning it off twice a day begins. My wife bought a great point about this time of year. “Icy roads suck.” I don’t really think of them as sucking so much, because I learner to drive in the snow and Ice look ago.
I grew up in Sunnyside, Washington. I learned to drive in the middle of January. Believe me when I tell you that this skill has came in handy over the years.
Other than driving my dad’s old Ford pickup in the potato fields, my first time driving on pavement was in a parking lot in 6 inches of snow. It was dark and the driving instructor was a tall man that didn’t like science geeks. (Yes, I was a science geek.)
I would like to think that it made me a good driver. The extra skills came in handy driving to high school all winter long and later from Seattle to Sunnyside for those weekend laundry runs.
I have wreaked more than once in bad weather. But I would like to think that I saved the car each time with very little damage. Three years ago we were in our van driving towards the Richland, Washington and I spun out of control before careening into the median. In 12 inches of snow I regain control and even sped up to make it to the other side of the road. With a quick u-turn we were back on the road. Maybe not heading the right direction but that was an easily fixed at the next exit.
Later, when I was in college I used to carpool each day with my good friend Dan. (The guy I called the Sub-urban cowboy) When I woke up one morning it was snowing, something I wasn’t used to in Seattle. It was a special day. It was my first time at a normal college registration.
I drove to Dan’s and he was in his pajamas. (Plaid as I recall)
“The school is closed for the day,” he yawed.
I explained that I wanted to go to register and nothing was getting in my way this time. I was tired of getting up at 8 am and then waiting around school until late in the afternoon for my last class.
He finally agreed and we drove my car through the snow covered streets of North Seattle to reach our goal. If you have ever driving in Seattle during a snow storm, you probably would understand that it isn’t the snow that is dangerous. It is the million other drivers that think they can drive in as little an inch of snow. They are the ones that make diving hazardous. (That morning there were over 250 accidents in 10 square mile area.)
We made it there early and I got 18 credits worth of back to back Classes. That made going to school very efficient and fun. I was in at nine and out by twelve most days. It turned out that I saved money because I didn’t have to buy a lunch everyday.
So if you are living in an area know to have a bad winter environment make sure anyone you care about learns to drive on icy roads. It is a skill that will one day save lives.