Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Adventures in Plowing

We got about six inches of new snow overnight and this morning.  Of course, it was accompanied by a north wind, so all that fluffy powder drifted really well.  So well that when I got home about one o'clock this afternoon, my driveway was pretty much drifted shut.  All nearly five hundred feet of it.

Being adventurous (which could also be a synonym for 'stupid' or 'naive'), when I was halfway through my turn into the driveway from the road, and I saw all those deep drifts in front of me, I sat down deep in my seat, took a good grip on the steering wheel, gritted my teeth with determination, and hit the gas!  I love me my four wheel drive trucks!

Bucking and sending snow flying all the way up the driveway, around the left loop and right to the front of the garage, I was gonna make it to my destination, or have a great story to tell about how the Suburban ended up in the hay field!  Putting it into park on the cement apron was almost anticlimactic.

Except that I knew I'd been darn lucky to not get stuck, and neither of my daughters, nor my DH would be able to make it up the driveway in their cars when they returned home today (DH usually drives a company car Monday through Friday).  Not with drifts that would come almost to their hoods.  So, therefore, it was up to me to plow the driveway.

More adventure!  Hooray!  I have to confess that while I regularly plow the driveway at the horse farm, I very rarely plow our driveway at this little place here.  That is something DH does.  So, while I have tons of experience plowing a driveway with the front end loader of a 4300 series John Deere tractor with lug tires, I have no experience plowing a curving 500 feet with the loader bucket and back blade of a John Deere 790 with industrial tires.

Hence the adventure.  My challenge:  get at least one loop of the driveway cleared all the way to the road, wide enough to get a car through, without getting the tractor stuck.

Well, I'd been out there about half an hour, and was only maybe 100 feet down the driveway, alternately scooping with the bucket and pushing with the back blade when I see this young man walking up the driveway, wading through drifts and coming toward me.  I'd noticed him and his plow truck pull into the neighbor's drive across the street about five minutes earlier.

Hmm, I thought, maybe this nice young man is coming to ask if I'd like him to plow out my driveway with his truck. Wouldn't that be nice!  Because by then I'd figured out that it was going to take me forever to get my driveway plowed with our dinky tractor and it's not-so-grippy tires.  The adventure wasn't looking so appealing any more.

But no, he wasn't coming to ask if I'd like to hire him to plow my driveway open.  Instead, he was coming to ask if I could help him.  It turns out that he'd slid a bit sideways in his truck with his last pass up the neighbor's driveway, and the back quarter of his truck was a mere inch from the back bumper of a truck that was parked diagonal near the end of the driveway.  His plow blade was in the snowbank he'd created, so there was no room to go forward and adjust position.  Backwards would result in his truck and the parked truck colliding, and neither paint job would be pretty after that.

So, could I please take my tractor across the street and give the back end of his truck a yank sideways?  Oh, and by the way, was I DS1's mom?  And had DS1 ever mentioned the name Such-and-Such?

Weeeelllll. . . Yes, I sure was willing to try to yank that truck out of it's predicament.  And yes, I am DS1's mom.  And yes, that name did sound vaguely familiar (although I couldn't remember if he was one of DS1's high school partners in crime, or one of the schoolmates that had antagonized DS1 all through high school--and blown up or otherwise wrecked 6 mailboxes belonging to me as well as spray painted nasty words on the road at the end of our driveway during DS1's school years. . .).

Long story short, I managed to blast my way out of the driveway with the tractor, Such-and-Such had a nice tow strap in his truck, he wrapped it around the frame of his truck where he wanted me to apply pressure, and I proceeded to yank the heck out of a plow truck until it was free.

Am I cool, or what?!?  Saving the bacon of a young man in his mid-twenties.  Yes, I am some kind of cool, even with a dinky tractor and gardening tires.

After that, I had to go back to my own driveway (Such-and-Such was plowing for his father and had other driveways to open up before their owners got home from work, but he did give me $20 for my help).  It took me another hour to accomplish, but I managed to get from the road, around the right hand loop, and all the parking area near the garage plowed.  Then I took pictures of my handiwork, and came in the house.  DH can get the left loop opened when he gets home.  I've got dinner to cook.

the right loop;
which is about 1/2 the length of what I plowed

teenager parking area plowed
(Suburban temporarily parked there so I could plow the cement apron to the garage)

lots of turning room at the garage area

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