Saturday, January 22, 2011

Winter Driving—Minnesota Style

Old Ema keeps on going despite my 
best efforts to hit every pot hole 
on the road.
Pot hole season is starting way too early this year. As I'm driving down I-35E yesterday morning at a fairly good clip, zoning away at the road, I'm jarred back into reality as I hit a massive pot hole at top speed. I don't even see it coming as it's snowing a bit, the road is covered with ice, and my windshield sports a fine layer of white road salt. A quarter of a mile down the road, I see a man fixing his tire on his little car. This scene strikes me with fear.

I have no clue how to change a flat tire along the side of the road. To make matters worse, the temperature is hovering around 0° and it's a bit breezy which probably means a -15° windchill would greet me. And I'm not even remotely dressed properly for the subzero weather outside my minivan. Although I am wearing boots and gloves, I would certainly freeze in my dress and tights if I were stuck outside changing a flat along the interstate. 

I don't think I would even know where to find the spare tire. That would require somehow prying open the lift gate on the back of the van that is iced shut. If I did get it open, I would be covered in road salt as my van looks like it has been washed in the stuff. Then I'd have to somehow wedge the gate open as it's broken and slowly creeps down so you have to duck underneath it or risk whacking your head.

I pass another late 90s-model compact car along the side of the road. Abandoned and minus a tire. Not good for drivers on this stretch of road. I'm instantly reminded of another drive last spring where I encountered a coffee table lodged in a pothole. Luckily I did miss hitting that one. I decide that if I did get a flat, I'd call for help and wait it out in my car until a good Samaritan arrived.

As I switch over to the middle lane (seems to have fewer gaping holes), you will be happy to know that I did make it safely to my destination. As for the pot hole, I'm sure it's still there and getting bigger by the day, putting gashes into tires of unaware drivers of little cars. My old navy blue van continues to survive the daily impacts I put it though. It remains covered in salt and may just stay that way until Spring.

2 comments:

Todd said...

In retrospect, I wish I would have heated my garage and put in a drain so I could wash my car in winter! How else could you keep the salt from eroding the vehicle from underneath you? Maybe the next house...

Anonymous said...

That would be smart. Add in a heated driveway too then no more shoveling!