Trust Me, I’ve Driven in Snow Like This My Whole Life

On my office wall is a cartoon showing a handbag-clutching middle-aged woman looking at headstones in the Men-Only Cemetery, with epitaphs such as “Don’t Worry, I’ve Done This a Million Times,” “Yes, I Know What I’m Doing,” and “What’s the Worst That Can Happen?”  I thought of this cartoon when over coffee this morning I told my friend Chip that I planned to drive to Maine–during a Nor’easter blizzard forecast to drop at least a foot  of snow over New England.  He noted the smart thing was to delay my trip for a day and recommended I do the smart thing, but acknowledged that if he were going with me instead of heading in to work, his answer would be “let’s go now!”

We both recalled a decision on last summer’s bicycle trip.  Our group planned to ride east to west up Glacier National Park’s Going to the Sun Road to Logan Pass, but the weather at our starting point included mid-40 temperatures, driving rain and sleet, and lightning.  We weighed our choices over breakfast. Most of the group said “NFW am I riding in this.”  Chip wanted to ride, and I really wanted to ride. It would have been a long, hard, wet, cold, and miserable climb–in other words, it would have been an adventure.  My sensible friends convinced me not to go (no doubt rolling their eyes at my foolhardiness), and of course they were right, but part of me wishes still I’d made the climb.*

Going to the Sun Road

That’s the part of me that decided to set out for Maine at 4:3o this afternoon.  No drama; I made it.   It took 4+ hours instead of the usual 2.5 because safe highway speeds were at most 40-50 mph, and I drove many miles stuck behind a highway-spanning phalanx of snow plows traveling at 25 mph.  I did manage to squeeze through a gap in one phalanxes’ formation and scoot ahead to the empty, snow-covered highway.  My Maine driveway had not yet been plowed and I had to shovel a clearing to open the front door, but I made it.  The only snafu was when to make room to plow the driveway I backed my truck onto the grass through a berm of plowed snow and got stuck.  I’ll dig it out tomorrow morning.

*We climbed the west side of Going to the Sun Road to Logan Pass the following day.  40 degrees, but no rain, sleet, or lightning.

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