Monday, December 5, 2016
Best laid plans
When New Englanders see that we're going to get less than an inch of snow, we barely notice. It's like driving in drizzle, kind of a nuisance but not a big deal. We budgeted a bit of extra time for the drive to today's dressage clinic, but slept easy.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is not less than an inch of snow.
This was a completely unforecasted snow event. The rain/snow line that was supposed to come up into NH stayed in Massachusetts and left us with 3" of snow in three hours with no plows waiting. It's still freaking snowing.
I have to go down a steep hill to get out of my town. I was on the road as the heavy snow hit. When I got to the hill, no plows had touched it. There was no salt or sand, just a long, steep haul down packed snow and ice. I eased down it at about 2mph, praying to every god I could think of as I slipped and slid. I made it. Other cars were not so lucky. Trucks weren't even trying to go up the hill. They were pulled over, waiting for the plows to catch up.
Usually it takes me 25 minutes to get to the barn. Between unplowed roads, traffic, and an accident on the highway you must take to get to the road our barn is on, it took me an hour. I did not get my coffee because I didn't dare the turn to get to Dunks and the highway our bakery is on was a parking lot. I almost didn't make it up the last hill for the barn. Steep, winding, and completely untreated. The plows didn't know this was coming and our secondary road wasn't exactly on the top of the list.
I went into the barn and found Trainer A without the usual morning crew. They hadn't made it in yet. It was 7:40am. I checked my traffic app and saw that everything between us and the clinic was bright red with slow downs and accidents. Massachusetts was having their usual traffic issues, but NH had been caught with their proverbial pants down and many roads were downright treacherous and the snow was showing no signs of stopping. We would have to leave in 20 minutes if we wanted to have a prayer of making it in time for our lesson. Our one hour drive was now looking like 2.5 hours. We stood by the road, looking at the hill and curve we would have to negotiate with the trailer carrying very precious cargo.
If I put my Yaris in a ditch, it's a nuisance. If we put a truck and trailer in a ditch, it's a disaster. As absurd as we felt calling in for such a small amount of snow, we could not in good conscience load up the horses when there was a very real chance they would get killed. All of the highways were stop and go, all of the back roads were untreated. Lots of people were getting hit or going into ditches. As much as it upset us, we decided to stay home. Better to be disappointed and safe.
I gave papi the day off, since my mood was not the best by this point. On the drive home, I failed to make it up the hill to get out of the barn. I had to turn around (a 3 point turn on the road is much scarier when you use the brakes, nothing happens, and you're completely sideways without a guard rail) and go the back ways, wandering around on unplowed roads to get to the highway. Once I made it into town, I parked my butt at my favorite local diner for lots of coffee and breakfast. I waited an hour for the snow to stop, then gave up. I managed to follow a plow back up our hill, so I made it on my first try. Now I will spend my day off from work pouting.
It's. Still. Snowing.