So, I was in some fairly real danger of dying yesterday.
For those who don’t know, my parents’ house, where I have been staying, is in the middle of nowhere. Literally, you have to drive a half hour to the nearest town, Corydon, to see a stop light. We are surrounded on all sides by forest, and the nearest neighbor is about a half-mile walk. Making this more treacherous is the terrain directly in front of my parents’ house — a narrow metal bridge, immediately followed by an incredibly steep hill.
So, add two feet of snow to this, and what do you get?
To give you an idea of how much snow that is, some of us went exploring awhile ago. We found lots of snow-covered bushes, so it was only natural that when we got to the bottom of the hill, we thought that large snow-covered heap was a bush. Or maybe an igloo. But wait, aren’t those… side-view mirrors sticking out of it? It is one of multiple cars abandoned throughout the area. One 4×4 truck was abandoned across the bridge, and there were marks where it had tried to make it up the hill. This is serious. There is enough snow here to bury a cat. It’s like the end of days.
So after being snowed in for several days, they finally got a plow out here. This was about two days ago. Now, they didn’t gravel-and-salt the area, they just plowed it. Gravel-and-salting is pretty necessary, because underneath all the snow, there is a pretty consistent layer of ice — so when the plow gets rid of the snow, there’s actually something worse underneath. Why didn’t they gravel-and-salt? Well, the shed they usually keep that stuff in? Collapsed under the weight of the snow.
Realizing a plowed road was better than no road, for the past couple days, we have been taking shifts to shovel out the driveway. We do not have a small driveway. It’s about 150 feet long, and we need a lot of space to turn around. It took about 3 days of 3-man shifts to be able to get our 4×4 truck (a 70-something GM Cheyenne) out. It took some doing, but we did it.
(Incidentally, while we were clearing the last bit of snow from the driveway, one of our neighbors came up and said hi. She was riding a horse. This is about the only sensible mode of transportation.)
So yesterday, my stepdad, Henry, decided to make a run to town in the truck for supplies. I elected to go with him, since Henry is a heart patient, and it is incredibly treacherous territory out here. Probably not necessary, but a good idea nonetheless. We got to town okay (about a 1.5 hour drive), and stocked up on supplies. Strangely enough, the two massive supermarkets we went to did not have bread. Any bread. Anywhere. It was only by chance, when we stopped at a gas station, that we were able to find a loaf of white bread. On our way out, we stopped to pick up some White Castles, as my brothers and I have an addiction to the foul grease bombs. These tiny would-be-hamburgers served us well.
On the way back, the sun was setting, and the road was re-icing. Soon we were fishtailing fairly regularly, and eventually, we ran off the road, and into a snow bank. After some trying, we realized the 4×4 wasn’t getting us out. Henry got on the cell phone and started calling home and to the neighbors, while I began to dig the truck out from the snow with my gloved hands. I freed up all the wheels, and cleared a 5-foot area ahead of us, before I realized that we needed a large turning radius, and there wasn’t any way that I was taking on snow drifts as tall as I was without tools.
Henry eventually got through to the dispatcher. They sent out a tow truck and a police car to direct traffic around us. And we waited. And waited. No cars were coming, so we assumed that the police had stopped traffic up the road. So we waited. And waited. And watched the moon come up. And waited. My foot started to get really cold, due to a loosely tied boot and some errant snow. And we waited. Soon, cars started coming by from up the road, and we turned them away, saying the wrecker would be here soon. And we waited. And Henry’s cell phone ran out of batteries. And we waited. And I tried to get the ice out of my boot, to no avail. And we waited. And I worried about frostbite. And we waited.
Finally, someone came down the road the way we had come, and stopped to help us. He said there was no cop up there, and that he hadn’t seen any all the way up to Corydon. He left for a bit, then came back with snow shovels, and before too long, we were out.
At the end, we stopped at the neighbor’s house, and unloaded most of our groceries there. Henry took the flashlight and some groceries, and I took two trash bags full of groceries bags, and we started across the bridge and up the hill. The trash bags were heavy, and three days of heavy shoveling, followed by a frantic bare-hands digging out of the truck, followed by intense cold, followed by a half-mile trek up a steep hill… did not make it any easier. Henry got way ahead of me, seemingly without looking back. When he got to the house, he apparently was under the impression that I was right behind him, and had no idea where I’d gone. So my two brothers ran out to help me, and I could thankfully hand them the trash bags.
When I stepped in the door, my mom’s expression was frantic bordering on panic.
I then took the best bath of my entire life.
The moral of the story? Fuck dreams of a white christmas. Fuck them to hell.