Thursday, 31 January 2013

Freezing Rain


When I got up this morning the first thing I did was reach out for the iPad to check the weather. There appeared to be nothing special except a forecast for a warm day so, accordingly, I waited until the last moment to leave. Naturally. The truck was thickly coated in ice from the freezing rain we'd had.

There was no scrapping that off so while Tess went off to work in her car which had spent the night warm and dry in the garage, I started carrying out pitchers of warm water to melt the ice off the truck windshield.

My parents live off the main North/South highway south of the city. From the river valley you climb a long, long steep hill before hitting the plateau at the top. It is a bad hill and you regularly see transport trucks in the winter stopped in the middle of it chaining up. The highways maintenance people know it is bad too and give it as much attention as they can. Today there we're two sand and salt trucks going up and two going down as I made my way to my folks. At the top the two going up would turn and start down again while the ones going down would turn and come back up.

In spite of all that salt and sand being thrown down the hill was a sea of glass. I had the heater blowing at top speed to keep ice from building on the windshield when I kept hearing an odd noise. Turning the blower off I realized that 'odd noise' was my tires spinning on the ice. I have 300 pounds of sand in the back of that truck and it was carrying another 200 in ice but it wasn't enough to keep it from slipping. My speed kept falling and I barey made it to the top of this, a main highway.

There are a couple of 'truck chores' wanting done today but it looks like it is going to have to wait until it warms up more and that salt/sand mix clears the hill. I wouldn't drive that again right now if I was paid.

Fortunately the city doesn't look after their roads all that well. The hill leading to Tess' has a thick coating of packed snow. The freezing rain is not affecting that much and she'll have no problem getting home.

We don't get freezing rain often here and when we do it is always a bit of a shock. I think I am going to tip toe across the highway to Canadian Tire and buy some chains for my shoes. It is best to walk this morning.

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