Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Best Laid Plan…

Posted by: Rick

Well, as I had suspected it makes little sense to try to keep Wapiti Way clear with the new plow. The road runs N-S along some open sagebrush prairie and any wind from the southwest or west will fill it with snow. The other day, I plowed it and it looked like this:

This morning, we needed to get into town for a vet appointment, it it looked more like this:

Actually, this photo is taken after attempting to get up the hill with the Expedition. We got stuck right away. The snow on the road was about 12" to 14" deep. It didn't look that deep, but it was. The problem driving through it is not so much the tires not grabbing, but rather the undercarriage of the truck getting "high centered" on the snow. I was able to back us out of the drift. I walked back to the cabin to get the Ranger and try to plow enough snow from the road to get over it. There was too much snow to get in one go with the plow, so I set it midway so I'd cut 5" to 6" off the top. My plan was to make another pass to get it down to the ground. However, I failed to tell Lynne my plan and she decided to drive the truck up after me, following my tracks. The problem is, the Ranger with tracks on it rides pretty much on top of the snow. So, after a few feet of following me, the truck was stuck again. And, this time I could not back it out. 

I got the shovel (we always throw a shovel in the truck when we go out) and began clearing the snow from around the tires while Lynne took off walking to the top of the hill where our neighbors were waiting for us in their truck. We had agreed to follow each other into town knowing the buddy system is safer.

Our neighbor, David, drove his truck over the sagebrush hill to get on the road behind the Expedition. We then used a tow rope to pull the Expedition clear of the snow drift. 

Lesson learned: don't even try to drive on the road. Instead, go cross country on the hill (we own that property). This works for a couple of reasons. First, there is simply less snow there after a big blow. Second, the gravel hill and sagebrush gives us more traction. 

So, rather than try to keep Wapiti Way "open" by plowing it, we'll just drive cross country to the top of the hill. I think I'll ask if we can park the Suburban there because once we are at the top of the hill, we have the same trek as our neighbors and we can work together to get into town and back. We will always try to coordinate trips so neither of us tries to go it alone.

The good news is that our Christmas cards are mailed. Hailey kept her vet appointment and we have meds for everyone for at least 2 months. We bought our Christmas ham and some wine. So, we are ready to sit here through Christmas if necessary. That does mean we may not get our mail.


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