It is snowing again. We are again living in the exact kind of winter we expected when we moved to the “mountains”. Something happened after/during Flood Monner that changed our weather for the good.
Of course, not everything about a snowy, wet winter is good. Like driving home in the snow! A couple months ago, I wrote what I called, “The First of Three Stories”. Well, here is the second story.
It is about driving home in the snow.
During a late December snowstorm, Elaine was a little worried that the conditions were getting a little bad, so she called Ivy and I to tell us we might want to head home. She suggested we stop for some groceries and get home before the storm got any worse.
At the grocery store, Ivy and I ran into a neighbor picking up a couple last minute things before heading home. The three of us were exchanging pleasantries, when the neighbor announced “We should get going, Calloway is going to be bad!”
The dreaded Calloway in the snow; Calloway is short for Calloway Hill. I’m not sure why this hill is named Calloway Hill, but I do know what it means. It means the road will gain over 600′ vertically in less than a mile. The road is a series of nasty curves in a canyon with plenty of places to slide into rocks or off a couple cliffs. Calloway can be quite treacherous during the winter,
I probably should mention that cell phones lose service in the canyon that is Calloway. This will become important to the story later.
Our neighbor finished her shopping before Ivy and I and headed for home and CALLOWAY. Ivy and I followed about 20 minutes behind.
The company owned truck that I was driving had me slightly concerned about the drive home, as it is/was a two-wheel drive truck. Two-wheel drive pickup trucks are not the greatest choice of vehicles for Colorado winters, however, they are economical (for a pickup) . With new tires and weight in the pickup bed they are capable of getting around in the snow, but not my first choice.
I have near to new tires and had about 500 pounds of hay in the bed, so I didn’t anticipate a problem.
Ivy and I stated up Calloway. Almost immediately we came up on an abandoned car in the middle of the road. Obviously the driver started up the hill and gave up from the slick conditions of the road. I drove around the car. Another 100 yds and another car is stranded. This one is still occupied. I drove around it, It is my neighbor, the one from the grocery store. I can’t leave her there. I found a safe place to park and walked down the hill to see if she needed help.
She thanked me for stopping and told me she had phoned her husband. He was coming with a four-wheel drive vehicle to pull her up the hill. I walked back to my pickup truck to go home.
Now that I have given up my momentum up the hill my truck will not go up the hill. “No problem, I will back up a little and get a run at it.” Nope, I started to slide off the road and into the ditch. I tried forward again. Nope, backward again, Nope. I finally got the truck moving forward. The sad thing is the truck was headed up the hill at a 45 degree angle, but we were moving up the hill. Until we came upon another abandoned car in the middle of the road. Normally this would not be a problem, just pick a side and go around the vehicle. But my truck is headed up the hill at 45 degrees. I don’t have room to get around the abandoned vehicle. I have to stop. I now longer have ANY momentum.
Ivy and I decide to call for Elaine to bring the four-wheel drive to pull us up the hill. We are now deep into the canyon. NO CELLULAR SERVICE! I volunteer to walk to the top of Calloway to use a cell phone.
It gets dark on Calloway at night, really dark. In the dark and snow I walked to a spot where I could call for help. After successfully calling for help, I started walking back down Calloway to the truck. The road was covered with ice. I started skiing down the road, WITHOUT SKIS! But not very far!
My feet went out from under me and I went down on my (construction language). I told you Calloway can be treacherous. I got back up and was able to walk/slide back to the truck.
Ivy: Are you alright? Me: Yes, did you see me fall? Ivy: (Now laughing hysterically) Yeah, it was really funny! Me: I was hoping it was too dark. Ivy: No, you were perfectly lit up in the truck’s headlights. Me: Next time you can walk for help. Ivy: I should have walked this time. (still laughing)
Help arrive in the form of my neighbor, the one with his wife down the hill a ways. They towed their car to the top of the hill. My neighbor drove back down the hill to tow Ivy and I to the top. I greeted him at the window of his vehicle.
Me: Thanks for helping me. Him: No problem, I had to come out anyway, sometimes I really dislike that woman. Me: What? (I knew what he meant, and I wanted to blame my night on her also, but I didn’t think it appropriate to bring it up right there.) Him: I have a (construction language) the size of a grapefruit, I am having surgery tomorrow, and I’m towing her up this damn hill. I told her to get new tires. Me: Ah……Thanks?
At times like that it is really easy to forget that snow means moisture. Moisture brings green pastures and wildflowers. However, times like that contribute to……….
Our crazy lives!
PS On the way to town this morning one of the local “cowboys” slid truck and trailer of the side of Calloway. He was being pulled out with a tractor as I went by. I didn’t ask but he didn’t appear to have a grapefruit problem.