This morning, I woke up to a winter wonderland. If you've been reading this blog long enough, you know that this didn't exactly make my day.
Okay, so normally, an inch or two of fresh snow outside the window doesn't bother me too much -- it is rather pretty -- but today's snowfall marked my first winter driving experience of this season. Considering that last winter's driving experiences ended abruptly with me on my side in the ditch, it's fair to say that I've been dreading this day. Add to that dread the fact that I'm still adjusting to the manual transmission Baja. How excited was I about the snowfall outside my window? Not very.
But I had a dentist appointment to get to. No amount of dread was going to make this better. I was going to have to be brave.
"The roads are okay," Andy said over the phone from work. "Just be careful. Use the gears to slow down."
I left the house with hour and forty five minutes to spare until my appointment. The trip to town normally takes an hour. When I pulled out onto the main highway, I realized Andy's assessment of "okay" might be a little exaggerated. OKAY?! I felt the hysteria rising my throat. The road hadn't even been plowed.
Nevertheless, our hero presses on . . .
A little ways down the road, after I'd waited at the bottom of a ginormous hill for a very minor accident involving a pickup and a truck and trail to clear out, it struck me: if police officers are just a step away from being criminals, maybe being brave is just a step away from bloody stupid.
On the other hand, I was learning some important lessons. It turned out driving a manual through the snow and slop wasn't so bad. The Corolla had handled like a hockey puck in snowy conditions; the Baja handled like a tank. "This is amazing," I thought. I shifted easy between the gears. I didn't have to touch the brake pedal at all. The car slowed by itself whenever I took my foot off the gas. I felt firmly glued to the slippery road. I giggled a little when I passed an (undamaged) Camry on its side in the ditch. I mean, who does that? (Don't answer that.)
However, by the time I was halfway down the Trail, it was apparent that I wasn't going to make my appointment. Do you know how long it takes to get into town when you're averaging 28 mph and you've got 55 miles to chug away at that speed? (Okay, I could do the math, but that's never been my forte.) It takes a long time. Like two hours long.
I pulled into Andy's workplace, called the dentist's to reschedule, waited around long enough for the plow to pass me (I'd seen the plow coming up the Trail pretty early into my journey down the Trail, so I knew he must have made the dead end loop and was not far behind me), and kept on going. Chug, chug, chug.
I'll admit, I wasn't having the time of my life. Nor did I feel particularly brave. To be honest, I felt more boneheaded than brave. Driving through all this crap and still not making it to my appointment? What was the point of that? This farce was nothing but a freakin' waste of time. Think of all the things I could be getting done if I'd just stayed home.
My mood changed considerably when I finally hit dry pavement. I'd just survived my first winter driving of winter 2011-2012. . . . to put it in Bridget Jones speak, feeling rather rockstar-ish.
However, the question's still hanging out there:
Brave or bloody stupid?
Still can't tell.