It was a Valentine's Day like any other - or so I thought.
It was milder than it had been for a while, bright and sunny and I wanted to go into town for a fresh jar of local honey. The Farmers' Market functions indoors one Saturday a month through the off-season and this was that February Day. Frank decided to come along with me. It turned out that the farm from which I buy my incredibly delicious honey did not have a table at the market that day but we didn't go home empty handed. There were plenty of sweets, canned foods and other things to keep us entertained for a half-hour, and stocked up for a few days.
I never suspected a thing.
On our way back home, Frank remarked at how the snowplow had just been along our road since the time we traveled it on our way to the market. Ours is a twisty-turny stretch of road and though the plow had indeed been by, there was no sand on the freshly cleared and now smooth, slippery road. As we approached a curve in the road, we found out just how icy the road actually was. In an instant we were hurtling to the right instead of following the road. We could feel the drop off of the road and the slight descent into the snowy ditch. There was total whiteout conditions as the fresh snow flew up against the windshield. We continued to propel forward for a few seconds and of course, since we couldn't see, we had no idea if we were going stop with a rude crunch against a tree or not. But there really wasn't much time to think about it. The whole incident probably took about five seconds and at the end of that brief lifetime, we stopped, unharmed with a very gentle ooomph into still deeper snow. I'm very grateful for that.
I couldn't open the door on the passenger side and it was difficult and awkward for us to exit through the driver's side but we managed. I was grateful that we took a membership with CAA last spring, and I made the call to them before getting out of the car and into the bright sunlight. Their estimated time of arrival was one hour. It was a lovely day. We didn't even feel so much as jostled or thrown and so we paced up and down the roadway, assuring drivers who stopped to check on us that we were fine and awaiting help. It's not a very busy road but over the course of the hour, a few dozen cars came through, and while I was present, each and every one of them (except for the eventual snowplow driver) stopped to inquire about our safety. I'm grateful for good people sharing our neighbourhood.
At one point, I hitched a ride home with one of the neighbours so that I could pee, put on comfier boots, grab a hat and a pair of gloves for Frank, and of course, my camera. Our home was only about a kilometre (less than a mile) down the road. Within ten minutes, I was walking back toward Frank and the car. Another reason for gratitude.
As you can see, the side of the road we had been traveling was plowed but not sanded, and the right hand side was still rather snowy. I kept expecting the plow to zoom up behind me while I was walking. It took me about fifteen minutes to get to the car.
Cold hands, now adorned with gloves, Frank demonstrates how he was driving when the road took over and ditched us.
There was no getting out of this without help.
Here comes that plow I was telling you about. Note all the snow it's leaving in its wake? That's exactly what it looked like for a few seconds through our windshield.
Note the sand. What happened to this part of the process on the other side of the road? We might have had better traction if he had sanded while clearing like he's doing here. There's no telling for sure.
Help arrived within the time period promised by CAA via text message. Grateful!
They quickly got to work attaching chains to the near-buried tires.
Once the front tire was similarly secured, it was time to start tugging.
And tug, they did.
What took us mere seconds to do, took them mere minutes to undo.
Just a little bit more and the car was out. Thanks, guys.
They oriented the car onto the road and then hurried off to help the next ditched vehicle which as it happened, occurred in front of our place just moments after I left home to walk back to our car. Thankfully, they too were uninjured.
A glance back shows us where the car had come to rest in the ditch.
Here's a closer look.
It would appear that we made quite an impression.
And that's how I got ditched on Valentine's Day.