Slip Sliding Away
Winter of 2000-2001
The worst Alaska winters are windy, rainy and warm. Cold snowy winters are a lot more pleasant.
In 2001 we could have skated down our driveway. Spreading gravel on it was like throwing marbles on glass.
One afternoon while working in my office, I heard a tremendous crash. I looked out the window to see a fully loaded lumber truck tipped over the bank, smashed into our shed. Our driveway is directly across from a steep access road to subdivisions up the hill. The lumber truck had lost traction and hurtled backwards through the intersection. It would have demolished any vehicle it hit, but thankfully no one else was in the intersection at the critical moment.
Fortunately, when the truck tipped over the bank, one of its outriggers dug in and absorbed most of the momentum. Nothing in the shed was harmed and insurance paid for repairs. The insurance company kept our best photos, unfortunately, but the ones here will give you an idea.
A month or so later, Dennis went to retrieve the morning newspaper. Water trickled down our icy drive, so he stepped carefully. He was almost to the top when he slipped and fell onto his stomach, then slid 80 or so feet down the water chute we call a driveway. It made him angry, more determined than ever to retrieve the paper. He scrambled through the woods, grabbing brush to haul himself up. He gained the top and got the paper, only to slip again on his way down and slide another 80 feet on his back. By the time he returned to the house, he was soaked, front and back.
He was lucky. January 4, I took a single step off of our deck, slipped on glare ice and broke my left foot. Later, while limping around the living room, I kicked the couch and smashed the middle toe on my right foot, which left me limping on both feet!
One winter when conditions on the hill were bad, car after car careened into our driveway, bumping into the fence and mailbox but narrowly missing each other. Then, the neighbor just up the hill from us began to back out. Everyone screamed and waved to stop her, but she disregarded all warnings and pointed her truck down the hill. Four-wheel drive and studded tires help in most winter conditions, but are no good on an icefall covered with water. She hit the first car, which hit the second, which hit the third, which hit the fourth. No popularity points for her that day with the neighbors!
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Source: www.SusanCAnthony.com, ©Susan C. Anthony