Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A nice little drive....

After feeding last night (no scares, thank goodness!) and picking H up from basketball practice, we decided to take a quick trip up north of town and do a drive-by check-out of an acreage that's been listed. I'd been by it, but T and H hadn't, and the truck needed to be run enough at speed to blow some of the crud out of the engine - too much idling's not good for diesels, so....

The drive up was great - clear roads, all pavement. Pluses: 9 acres of good pasture, rural water, on blacktop, the house is big enough, new roof, newer furnace, large pole barn & separate *heated* floor shop with half bathroom of its own. Minuses: tree belt is newly planted & only about a foot high, no perimeter fencing, no windbreak, and it's 20+ miles from work & school for all of us. Still, it's a possibility.

The adventure began when we decided to cut across to the highway coming back. The gravel was perfectly clear for the first two miles of the four we had to travel. Mile three was a bit blown in in spots, but nothing the truck wasn't handling.

The four inches of snow they say we collected from this weekend's storm didn't fall neatly in 4" blankets, not with the wind we've had. It's packed into sculpted drifts around treebelts and buildings, sifted through chinks into drifts under barn doors, and cemented into ditches anywhere it had a chance to settle. Wind-born snow creepers extend out of the ditches across roads - even where the plows have bulled their way through. And especially where they haven't.

But the stretch we were on seemed good - someone else's tracks led off in front of us through the fingerling snow creepers, and most of the road was bare to the gravel. If the creepers were gradually increasing in size as we headed east, they weren't huge, and the truck was handlig them neatly.... 100 yards from the street sign indicating the next north/south intersection we smacked into a four foot drift and came to an abrupt stop. Yup. Stuck.

By this point is was black, -13', and the closest lights were a mile south as a crow flies across what looked like pasture & a creek bed. Good thing we had a shovel - never leave home without one in the winter!

Half an hour later, H wanted to call for pizza - she was hungry. But some digging, rocking, and a bit of swearing and we were backed clear of the big drift. T's thought - we should just push for the intersection - I nixed after walking (on top of the packed in, three foot deep & rising, drifts) to the road sign where the road was, yes, clear - but I was standing on top of a hip-high bank of cement hard snow by that time. Nope, not gonna do THAT much digging, thanks very much.

I wish I'd thought to stick
the camera in my pocket, though.
It sure was pretty!

Since turning around was out as we couldn't tell how deep the ditches were, I walked behind the truck with the flashlight as a guide while T backed down the road a 1/4 mile or so until we found a field entrance where we could turn around. We decided the plowed blacktop might be a safer bet than any more gravel adventures, though. Gotta love those country roads!

Still, I'd rather be stuck in a snowbank (and at least we were dressed for it, fresh from chores), than stressing over a sick or injured critter!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

YUck-O! What nastyness....

Again, I am thankful that my career brought me south, and not north...

keep warm, and I'd stay off the dirt roads (well, ice-covered, snow-drifted roads) if I were you. :)