A 70 year old Alaskan virgin?
Well not exactly a virgin but…..
We are now into our third week of snow continually falling day after day like dust from the sky with no end in sight. Accumulating a quarter inch here and a half an inch there. Yet some days I do see a break in the clouds with the sun shining for a few hours all to soon to be replaced with nothing more than a light coating of….more snow. Though shoveling is hard on these old lungs I manage to keep up with the ever present ‘gift’ of frozen Angels tears.
The weather report with the words ‘chance of snow’ reappears day after day without any change, and the temperature has been mild for this time of year. When we should now be seeing more and more readings below zero it stays the same comfortable 20 above. This extended fall temperature has the advantage of not using the stove all day long, which of course means that every day the temperature stays this warm I am saving money.
The down side is when you combine the warm temp’s with the almost daily snow fall you see roads with conditions that bring back memories of bumper-cars at a carnival. The reason I used the title ‘A 70 year old Alaskan virgin’ is because every winter I have to learn anew how to drive on roadways that are nothing but sheets of ice. The 60 mile drive from my cabin to Fairbanks becomes a new adventure each winter because with old age dulling my reflexes it makes the relearning process quite a bit more interesting.
Between my home and town there are four hills that must be crossed and here is where I find it most interesting of all because on the down slope of these hills, (one hill namer Wichersham Dome is over 3,000 feet), I never touch my breaks. I am sure most of you know what happens when you hit the breaks on ice….nothing but an out of control skid. So I have taken to using the gears instead of breaks, something I learned when I drove the ‘big rigs’ across the country earlier in my life. Though dropping gears may not be the ‘officially proper’ way to drive, it works for me.
I remember my first few winters here when each week over our morning coffee Rose the woman who owns the property that I live on and her daughter enjoyed hearing my tales of woe doing 180’s in the switchbacks on Wickersham. However lately wether because of seasoning or experience these tales have stopped and I can drive that 120 mile round trip with nary a slip!
So yesterday on my first icy drive to town
I once again lost my virginity
and for most of the drive
never touched the breaks………
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