Our first real winter storm has hit, and boy it was a doozy - over 40 centimeteres of snow in a span of 18 hours! The new house is great in one respect - for the first time in my life i don't have to shovel 6 foot high drifts in my driveway or explore for a buried car! In fact the driveway was damn good - unfortunately the street in front of the driveway hadn't seen a snowplow all night - so i had to face ... a 6 foot high snowdrift! On a goddamn public road! Yesterday was also one of the worst days of my freakin life as far as weather goes.
So i finish the driveway about 9:45, and i call my boss to let him know i'll be 20 minutes or so late opening the store- no biggie - i can sit back, grab a cup o tea, shower, and head out. Boss calls back, says he ain't gonna bother opening until Noon - figures most everyone is still gonna be digging out - and all the malls/schools/etc are closed... I think, cool! Maybe i can make myself a nice breakfast (sin city breakfast tacos maybe!). Sarah's best friend calls not 2 minutes later - her car is broke down in the neighboring community - about 7-10 minutes from me... She's got no one else to call - so i tell her i'll come pick her up. Now it's not snowing anymore at this point - in fact the sun's a shining - but it is a crisp 15 below zero (Celcius), and the wind is in the 90 kp/h range. I throw on a fleece sweater and a pair of sneakers and head out. Road conditions are excellent, side streets are all clear - hell i can see pavement! I hit one road - nice little country backroad - a few trees and stuff, some small farms here and there, and all seems good - until i turn into the crest of a small hill and hit whiteout central! I can't even see the hood of my car - let alone the foot of snow on the road - winter tires or no - 10:14 AM, my little sunfire bogs down something fierce - when the wind slows i spot two snowplows and another stuck vehicle about 100 metres up the road - and banks of snow on either side of the road about 12 feet high... i'm in a bad spot... One of the plows isn't moving, but the other one circles the truck up ahead, then circles around me. I feel my car lift a good foot or so under the pressure of the mound of snow being forced in under me... this is not good. After five minutes or so i manage to get my car door open, and climb out onto the pavement where the plow had just gone... sure enough, my car is elevated a good chunk above pavement level - i'm not going anywhere... After 45 minutes or an hour trying to dig wheels out with nothing but an ice scraper and a pair of suede gloves - i take a walk up the road to my fellow victim. His Ford F-150 is jammed up even worse than i am - he actually slid accross the road and into one of the 12 foot banks. I make a few calls - to no luck - check in with Sarah and let her know what's going on - i tell her i ain't leaving the car - as if anyone could get to me anyway as the city council has plowed off both ends by now and closed the road - and that i'll see her in April when the snow melts ;) This guy - late 40's driving a pickup outfitted for hauling away bulk garbage (Water heaters and that sort of junk) offers me the use of one of his shovels- a metal ditch-diggin style outfit - and we both go to work - i figure i'll give him a hand, he'll give me a hand. After a solid hour or more of digging we manage to get him free enough that i can hop up onto a bank and PUSH the truck out. So we get the truck loose, walk back to my car and start in there with shovels and shoving. 45 minutes later i'm free as well. We both take a walk up the road to check the situation. Two or three little sections have drifted over again, one spot almost a foot deep. We both have our doubts - his rear wheel drive truck, and my itty bitty sport coupe. We hop in the truck, and he guns it - we manage to get through. We both figure i shouldn't have much trouble - so i hop in the car and attempt the same. I go airborne at one point after ramping a chunk of packed snow - i see the needle hit 80 on the speedometer at another point - and i almost lose her into the 12 footer as i attempt to slolom the broken down plow that the municipal workers have left abandoned, but at 12:35 PM i'm free! After 2 hours in freezing cold weather - standing directly in the path of 90 kp/h winds and a giant drift of blowing snow - i was mighty damn cold. I didn't feel it until i got back in the car - but i began to shiver - nay tremor - uncontrollably. Turns out i was completely soaked - as though i had just taken a dip in a frozen lake - and had come down with a case of hypothermia. When i walked in the door Sarah took over, switching over to "Play nurse for your stupid fiancee" mode. She filled the bath with warm water, got me some hot chocolate and turned on the bedwarmer. Of course she had the kids she looks after at our place for the afternoon, and Abby (my own little monkey) and the other three all burst into the bathroom while i lay in the rapidly cooling bathwater shivering violently. Not my finest moment, luckily i was in such a fashion that me bits wasn't showin'. Man - this was the coldest i have ever been in my life - Yes Kev (if you're reading) even colder than the time i guest-judged that SCA tournament in Chris Martin's backyard while wearing my biker jacket and jeans in 20 below weather!
To make a long story short - Hypothermia sucks, but man that bed felt so good afterwards - and i did manage to flake out and watch Go Tell The Spartans, which, despite the shitty DVD treatment, was a fantastic film! I still ache from head to toe like you wouldn't believe though... I fucking hate winter.
"Where there's smoke... there's steve, in a microwave oven set on speed defrost."