... from the little blue car driving cautiously in front of you. Please have patience with me. I'm in good repair, I have front wheel drive and good snow tires, but I know my limitations. If I stay in the driving lane, I can pretty much make it through anything, if I have to. But I know that if I get near the snow in the ditch one of two things will happen:
- With luck, I will get far enough off the road so you can get past me and I will then sink up to the top of my tires in the snow and need to wait patiently to be rescued.
- Worst case scenario, I will catch an edge, roll a couple of times and die.
The lady driving me has been driving these roads for almost forty years ( 1.4 million km and counting) and has learned a few things about staying on the road and out of the ditch.
- Ice is the boss. Always. You have to sneak up on it so it doesn't toss you into oncoming traffic or, worst case scenario, into the ditch. Even with snow tires, ice wins any argument.
- Cars coming quickly from a side road might not stop at the stop sign and come straight through. It is best to be prepared.
- When it is dark, even if you want to, you can't see what is happening beyond the path of the headlights.
- Deer and moose do not wear head or tail lights. Hitting one at full highway speed is a bad idea. For everybody.
So, please have patience with me and my driver. Sitting right behind me with your bright lights on won't make me go any faster and won't get you better passing conditions. Cutting too quickly in front of me won't "teach me a lesson". Passing when it isn't safe will get us all killed. Including the guy coming toward us in the other lane.
Oh, and when I slow down just east of Brownvale just as the road ice disappears, its because of the deer family that is hanging out there. Dad sends mum and the kids out onto the road to see if it is safe and then saunters across when the cars have stopped. While I don't approve of his parenting choices, I like to think that the kids will make better choices if they survive til next year.