Friday, October 30, 2009

Winter? Already?

Remember how the Bag Lady was bragging about it snowing in town but not at her house? Well..... things can change.
There was no snow on the ground anywhere when the Bag Lady went to work yesterday morning, but it started snowing around noon in town. By the time she finished work at 2 pm, there was quite a lot of snow on the ground (and on her truck). She bravely set off from work and was quickly reminded just how slippery it can be when the temperature is just below freezing!

She stopped and got her hair trimmed, then ran some errands and actually bought a new winter coat - woohoo! (She hasn't had a new winter coat for about 10 years) After running her errands, she set off for home. There were sirens all around town, the snow was falling thickly, traffic was moving slowly. Every intersection was icy and the whole affair was fraught with tension. The Bag Lady has 4-wheel drive in her little truck, and she occasionally turned it on to gain a little traction taking off at the icy intersections. Once out on the highway, she ended up behind a little truck that was proceeding quite cautiously at 80 km/hr. That was fine with her - the road conditions certainly didn't warrant going any faster. Unfortunately, the little truck in front of her was not perhaps as well prepared for winter as he could have been.

The dreaded river hill had been sanded on the side closest to the city, but the other side of the bridge falls under a different municipality and they had not yet sent any trucks out to deal with the road conditions. The little truck in front of the Bag Lady was in trouble almost as soon as they left the bridge. In order to get home, she takes an exit immediately after the bridge, and the exit road swoops around and meets up with another highway. When the little truck started onto the other highway from the stop sign, he started fishtailing. The Bag Lady waited for him to get straightened out, then followed him to the base of the hill. He was not going very fast, but even so, he started fishtailing again as soon as he tried to accelerate up the hill. The Bag Lady put her truck in 4-wheel drive and didn't have any problems, except for the little truck sliding all over the road in front of her. He kept slowing down and speeding up, then sliding around again. He finally came to almost a complete stop, which enabled the Bag Lady to get around him and continue up the hill.
Heartless as it may sound, for all she knows, he's still down there at the bottom of the hill, trying to get enough traction to get home! There was nothing she could do to help. She had to pass a big truck, too, who was having a lot of trouble making his way up the hill. It took her almost 20 minutes longer to get home than it normally would, but she made it safely.
She heard on the radio while she was driving home that the road conditions were terrible (which made her mutter under her breath) and that there were numerous accidents throughout the area.
She is hoping that the weather improves today because she doesn't relish the thought of driving home from town when it's icy AND dark outside! She is a big bit of a coward about driving at night.

The forecast is for warmer weather on the weekend, so she is hoping they are right. She has to work again on Saturday morning.

She's hoping the weather where you are is better than it is here right now and that you have a great weekend!


Reb said...

I am glad you are sensible and that you have the 4 wheel drive assist (and know that is is an assist). It sounds like the little truck in front of you was surprised that winter arrived...probably a combination of no weight and no winter tires!

MizFit said...

it is seriously surprising to me that its already COLD there.

It feels to ME as though it were just winter for I can imagine what youre feeling!


Finally Not Sweltering in TX

messymimi said...

Glad you got home safely.

I'm also glad you got to get a new winter coat! I snagged a coat from the lost and found box at co-op last year, not new, but in very good condition (I asked around a lot before taking it, no one claimed it). Winters here are not nearly as long or as severe as yours, but my old one was from before I got married, 24 years ago! So even here, it was past time.

solarity said...

Glad you didn't slide off the road. I don't mind driving at night in good weather, but when the roads are bad, you can't see how bad they are.

I remember standing on the hill outside my house in Raleigh, NC, after an ice storm--a solid two inches of ice coating the roads--watching traffic on the main road to decide if I could make it ten miles to work (Not.) and seeing a girl in a four-wheel drive truck spin around, twice, without hitting anything. I muttered to myself "It doesn't matter how many wheels have power to them if they don't have any traction!"

Mary Anne in Kentucky

Leah J. Utas said...

It never ceases to amaze me how many Albertans are caught off guard by bad weather.
Glad you made it home okay and that you know how to drive.

JavaChick said...

I hate winter driving! Glad you made it home safe.

Aleta said...

Wow. Just seeing someone fishtail would scare me. I wouldn't know how to drive in that type of snow and ice situation. I can drive through flooded waters, but here in New Orleans - if a touch of snow flurries comes through, the city shuts down! We're in the 80's today - yuck!

Scrumpy said...

You be careful out there!

the Bag Lady said...

Reb - I am happy for any assistance when it comes to driving in poor conditions! And the guy driving the little truck was old enough to have known better!

Miz - it feels to ME as though it were just winter, too.... dammit!

Messymimi - winter coats are such a necessity here that they wear out quite quickly. (Plus, they are considered a fashion accessory! Mine was definitely not fashionable, especially with the holes in the worn-out sleeves!) When I remarked to the young cashier where I bought the coat about the price, she said "Oh, that's nothing! I paid $400.00 for mine!"

Mary Anne in Kentucky - some people seem to think that having 4-wheel drive in their vehicles makes them invincible! I use mine for a little extra traction when it's slippery, or muddy. 4-wheel drive ceases to work when you are going faster than 80 km/hour.

dfLeah - I know! There are always people who drive far too fast for the conditions, or spin their tires like mad at intersections - WTH?

JavaChick - I am not fond of winter driving, either!

the Bag Lady said...

Aleta - We always watch the news reports in amazement when bad storms hit the southern US - then tell ourselves that the 80-vehicle pile-ups are because of the lack of proper tires and experience.
Your temp is in the 80's!? Sheesh. (Guest room???)

Scrumpy - thanks! I plan on it! :)

Terrie Farley Moran said...

df Bag Lady,

Be careful on the roads! And when do we see the new winter coat????


Geosomin said...

Whew...italwasys rusprises me that people forget how to drive every fall...I'm glad to know you're up to the snowy challenge. Ours has melted here, but I'm sure we'll get more soon. It's been chilly and gloomy.

Be safe.

Conny said...

Holy smokes! On tuesday you thought you had nothing to write about; today, adventure awaits you at every turn in the road.

I too am glad you made it home safely! I'm sure your truck is stocked for winter safety, yes?

Take care BL.

Levi said...

This cracks me up.. I'm going to start writing about weather and what a wuss I am driving at night, and see if I get more readers.
Do you think it will work? I wonder about cutting and pasting.


the Bag Lady said...

dfTerrie - Oh, yes - I'll have to model it and get the Rancher to take a picture! :)

Geo - we have over 6 inches of snow now. Sigh. It IS supposed to warm up and turn to rain later this afternoon, which does NOT thrill me, because, naturally, it will get cold later and turn to ice! *gulp*

Conny - thanks! And yes, I do have some winter survival equipment in my truck. A blanket and a cell phone, among other things!

POD - excitement abounds on this blog! Go ahead and cut and paste and see if anyone believes you when you talk about driving in the snow in California!! :)

Charlotte said...

Take it back!!! I am NOT ready for winter yet. I'm not! That said, glad you are okay and the 4-wheel drive worked!

The Fifth Sparrow said...

So glad you made it home safe and only 20 minutes later.
Those roads can be treacherous and having an unprepared idiot in front of you can really cause a problem. Of course wayward joggers could probably cause a hazard for POD... I'm trying to muster up some sympathy for a Californian.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't happy with snow when I was there at Thanksgiving - sorry to hear you have more and it will likely be for good this time.

Sure hope your friend Aleta keeps the 80's temperatures as we are off to NO in two weeks.

Happy Hallowe'en and drive safely.

your BC cuz

the Bag Lady said...

Charlotte - today was even worse!!! Sigh.

Sparrow - I know, I know, it's hard to muster up sympathy for POD and her road conditions. *snort*

Hi, cuzzie! Yup, the snow is probably here to stay, but I can always hope that it will melt. Have a good time on your trip! :)

Hilary said...

Like Leah said but it's not just Albertans.. it's here too. It's as if snow isn't real if it's not happening in a true winter month. Glad you got home safe and sound, Baggie.

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks, Hilary! A lot of it has melted now, so the roads are clear, at least.
I think some of it is here to stay, though.

Amy Mullis said...

It amazes me how you hop in your truck and go through all kinds of weather. I'm in South Carolina where we close schools and stay inside if somebody knocks over a cup of ice at the Dairy Queen. One year (not long ago), they closed schools because the forecast called for a storm. It never came, the streets were clear--and we were all safe inside!

the Bag Lady said...

Amy - that cracks me up! We HAVE to carry on - if we stayed indoors every time it got a little chilly or snowed, we'd never go anywhere!!

carla said...

just checking in on you...

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the little truck needs to put some weight in the back end!