Spring storms in Alberta are always a tonne of fun! Literally a tonne… of wet, heavy, blowing snow causing the roads (which gave my truck a mud bath the day before) to be rough, icy snow packed with minimal visibility. Not only can you not see a thing because the wind is causing whirlwinds of snow bunnies flying at you, but because even your best sunglasses can’t tone down the brightness of the fresh white sparkles that have caused the road to disappear completely. But in this time nothing makes you feel more comfortable then being in a truck with 4 wheel drive… and of course cell service!
Growing up in the country you get blessed with learning how to drive in the worst conditions at an early age! The first time I was ever behind the steering wheel was when I was 7 years old. Grandpa took me out in the field, said this is your gas, this is your brake.. have at ‘er! Well seeing I could barely touch the gas & see over the steering wheel at the same time, I took grandpa for quite the ride… He decided he best wait ’til I grow a little taller after I came inches from going through his new fence..eek! But that was my first taste of driving & I felt so free & grown up..& I will never forget that afternoon.
Next it was time for me to learn to drive a standard… well after my neighbor took me out at 14 in her little Chevy Tracker one day after school I had the jist of the feel, so Dad put me in our tandem Mack next seeing it was the only manual transmission we had.. First of all standards are intimidating as it is, never mind in a big grain truck! After being embarrassed of numerous stalls, I finally got the hang of it! I would talk to myself “Gas.. slowly let out clutch *chug chug* more gas… then PIN IT… let off gas.. clutch.. shift to 2nd *grind grind* clutch out.. PIN IT..” I always just wanted to go FAST! haha
Finally I turned 16.. & I wanted nothing more then to have a little hot rod truck! Instead I got a’95 Monte Carlo, very sporty, was not complaining, & that car really taught me how to drive. Not having 4wheel drive teaches you how to get through some shitty situations.. & I must say that car got me through EVERYTHING! Sloppy gravel roads, snow drifts, black ice.. you name it! & I’m proud to say I never got stuck, nor did I hit the ditch…
But with this all being said… Where my boyfriend & I live now the roads may as well be dirt fields at times, & with this I am HAPPY to have a 4Wheel drive.. There is not a chance I would have made it home at times last spring without it, or this winter. Especially yesterday… Here is a picture of my boyfriend meeting me two miles down the road with the tractor to plow me a path. What a good Man!!
As any women in the country knows, there is nothing better after a stressful day on the roads then hitting that home stretch of gravel. I’m not sure what it is… a sense of security, confidence, familiarity.. but your white knuckles seem to get back their colour the minute you leave the hard top… Am I right!?!?
Here are a few tips for winter driving that all us country girls know seeing it was drilled into our heads at a young age:
1) Never leave the place with less than a full tank of fuel (you never know how long you may need to sit on the road.. or in the ditch when you are in need of help)
2) Warm Clothes (I never leave without my ski pants, Muck boots, winter coat, extra gloves, toque, neck warmer & I even pack a blanket) Quick Story: My mom and I were on the road one day in a massive blizzard and came across a semi who hit the ditch. Seeing my mom was always prepared, she was able to wrap the driver up in blankets until the ambulance came to keep him warm. If you don’t think you may need the blankets.. you may be able to help someone else out. 🙂
3) Survival Kit – matches, candles (huge source of heat & had kept people from freezing when having to spend a night in their vehicle) flashlight, fold up shovel, booster cables, tow rope, first aid kit, snacks & lastly a 6 pack.. okay okay that’s not in my survival kit.. but you never know when you may need it.. could be quite handy!
You can buy really cool safety packs that have all this bundled up in a bag (minus the 6 pack) that takes up NO room. I have one & I have used it from time to time.
It seems like a lot of stuff to keep packed in your vehicle.. but until you use it (which I have!) you couldn’t be more happy to have it
Stay safe.. if they say “Dont Drive!”.. then don’t drive.. take advantage… no better day then ripping through snow drifts in the old farm truck or on your sled, when all the town people are sitting at work.. haha
HAPPY FRIDAY~~ Luv ya all… WRG