Snow, Mud, and VDOT... what could possibly go wrong with this picture??

January 28, 2013

 

Hmmm…. It’s slightly past 5pm on Sunday as I prepare my first-run for the early-morning ‘thoughts’ for tomorrow.  Taking a head-start is generally a good thing as it allows you additional time to prepare for things, rather than rush blindly forth and hope for the best.  We see it every day – some pathetic fool who is running late – generally not realizing or perhaps worse, not caring that because of their own ‘oopsieness’ their frantic half-baked reaction can and generally does cause a stir for the rest of us.  Case in point:  I had spent the afternoon with my son and his new girlfriend taking pictures – which you’ll see here.  On the way home, he mentioned that my truck Starship Elvis needed a bath in the worst way possible due to the coating of salt and Lord knows what else covered its flanks and the tailgate.  He was right – my 4x4 was looking more than just a tad past ‘cool 4x4 ugly’…  Not caked in mud and whatever else they acquire as some swamp visiting types like to do, and then drive around malls seeking out speed bumps and other ways to impart the remnants of their last visit on unsuspecting Lexus, Mercedes, and other high-dollar SUVs that populate these places.  Mine wasn’t guilty of any such tom-foolery.  It was merely displaying the limited results from VDOT in their quest to keep our roads clear during inclement weather.  This was especially obvious during the snowstorm on Friday.  On my way back from Washington DC after participating in the National Right To Life March as one of the KofC Marshals with well over 500,000 other people (13th time since 1998), I was watching the scenery from the bus’s windows and became curious at seeing more than a few snowplow drivers cruising along I95 with their blades down.  Sparks flying everywhere and not a bit of snow to be seen on the roadway… but gosh darn it, they were absolutely positive they were improving the safety factor for the motoring public.  Of course, said public was giving them a very healthy bit of distance due to the sparks – they weren’t about to test the theory based on the relativity of Snopes.com of sparks in 25-something degree weather on wet pavement will not ignite your gas tank.  So, they would get in groups and do a flanking movement around said snow plow – just in time to meet his wingman up ahead in their lane.  Yeah, and you wonder why there are chain-reaction accidents…   © John Cadell Photography

The Weather Channel®  had been posting advisories for about 3 years leading up to this event, or so it would seem… RUN… HEAD FOR COVER… STOCK UP ON E V E R Y T H I N G you can get at Home Depot® Sears, and Starbucks®.  It’s going to be the mother of all snow storms.  Okay, like a lot of folks, I get but only so ‘excited’ over this stuff… it snows, it stays cold, and eventually it melts.  I have this really nifty rotary switch on my dashboard (2Hi/4Hi/4Lo) that gets positively excited when this kind of weather shows up.  That means I can take a degree of relative comfort knowing that if I stick to the rules and follow the advice of others, I can safely navigate with a degree of reasonable certainty in 4-wheel drive mode.  This does NOT mean that I am some rock-climbing, stream-fording back-woods wannabe’ legend as you see in your average Range Rover® commercial intended for those whose idea of roughing it is making a change in their local Nieman-Marcus™ vs. Saks ordering habits.  They have no more business going out and about in inclement weather in these super-cool to the ‘in-crowd’ types than I do cluttering up some fancy-smancy sooper-dooper gotta’ wear matching socks white tie event.  Ain’t gonna’ happen, Cowboy.    Think about it… would you want to see me at an event like that?  NO!! 

So… I took myself home, and dutifully cleaned off the salt and grime along with other ‘things’ that had been acquired since its previous visit with his buddy, Mr. Hose.  Of course, I briefly considered the ramifications of using the hose in near-freezing weather – but figured that it is far cheaper to replace a $30.00 hose than a new paint job for my 4x4. 

Oh yeah, the weather this week? It’s supposed to hit the upper 60s on Wednesday before dropping back down to the low 40s high 30s for Polar Plunge weekend.  Looking forward to covering this annual event as a bunch of folks with great intentions and questionable methods get together to have some really entertaining ‘fun’ as they raise funds for Special Olympics Virginia.  To see what I’m talking about – please check out those sections on the website or better yet, consider donating to them at: www.polarplunge.com .

 

Thanks!!!

 

Have a great week!!


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