Friday, February 03, 2006

I'm Back! Back in the New York Groove!

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.

Cheers,
Steve
"Where there's smoke... there's steve, in a microwave oven set on speed defrost."

15 comments:

Mitch said...

Today in podunk Griffin it was partly cloudy and 65. Heh, heh.

SteveTP said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SteveTP said...

Yeah, but you have to live in a place named after something that would come out of my ass... man i just did a nasty podunk - i knew i shouldn't have eaten that McChicken ;)

Mitch said...

I'm not going to sit here and take that kind of abuse from a man who quotes Ace Frehley. :P

And at least I live in a real country! ;)

SteveTP said...

Ouch - your words cut me to the very marrow...

Ace Frehley? That's who sings that song? :)

Don't screw with my patriotic zeal... awww who am i kidding. Canuckisthani's don't have patriotic zeal, we sold all of ours to America for paved roads.

Mitch said...

The version of "New York Groove" I've heard is from Ace's solo album--back from when each member of Kiss released a crappy solo album in the late 70's. It's actually a cover, but I've never heard the original.

SteveTP said...

I had no idea Cat Stevens did "Wild world" until i heard it on K-Rock 97.5 this morning! Talk about out of touch! I thought it was a Mr. big tune!

Mitch said...

Mr. Big? That brings back some bad memories.

Chuck said...

Steve! You have a Blog! This is intense.

I see "blowin-smoke" and chuckle as i exhale.

what a vivid memory you have. your descriptions are so intense.

Sara said...

Glad to hear you're alright Steve! Also glad to know you didn't traumatize any children with your private bits! ;) And I agree, snow sucks. We had a medium sized storm today and it wasn't very fun using public transportation to get to work today.

jgodsey said...

DAMN you know that song is in my head!!

we got the leftovers of your storm...but we are in a warm snap so it all came down as water. "looks like we got mud here, Al."

maintcoder said...

Damn Steve... frigging tennis shoes in weather like that! Were you thinking it was a summer Sunday drive? :-D

I am glad to hear you are alright and that your better half knew exactly how to get you over your bout of hypothermia!

Keivn said...

Dude...i too remember the cold of that tourney...at least you weren't wearing metal! ok man...i ask AGAIN...email me your phone number...don't have me use force!

kevinwoolridge@gmail.com

Jondre the GianT said...

Hey man, sorry to hear about the shit luck. I was able to stick it out in my house for two days straight which was pretty reenergizing! :P
Hey man, check out my blog - yeah I stole the idea from you. :)

Dan Mancini said...

Forty centimeters of snow? What is that, like, 6 or 7 feet? I'm confused. Conversion gives me headaches. Now I can't tie my shoes.

American, out.