Saturday, January 24, 2015

Snow Drought Relief Means Driveway Work

Anchorage got a little snow in the last couple of days.  Not much, but enough.

Having a one car garage and two cars becomes problematic in the winter.  My car is essentially a back up vehicle most of the time and a summer camping vehicle.  But when it snows, it has to get off the streets so the snow plows can clear.  At least we don't get tickets or towed if it is on the street, but it's a nuisance for the plow drivers.  And for the neighbors and us if there's a gap that isn't cleared.  

The snow also gets me some exercise shoveling the driveway.  It's nice to be out with the clean white powder  and the quiet and being able to very tangibly see the impact of one's labor.  And yesterday as I was shoveling, a young moose ran down the street.  No moose today, but I got to say hi to the neighbor as he put his snowboard in his car and headed off.  

We have a driveway with a bit of slope.  That means that if I don't clear it right away, the car tracks pack down the snow which eventually becomes ice and walking up and down the driveway gets treacherous.  So I try to clear right away.  Before my wife backs out of the driveway and starts to make tracks.  It's much, much easier to just clear the fresh, unpacked down snow.  (I did post a picture of the driveway two years ago when we had lots and lots of snow, here.)

But today, there were already tracks in the driveway.  I'm guessing the paper delivery folks drove up the driveway because there were no footsteps, just the truck tracks.  

You can see the tracks, on the bottom where I've already shoveled and then on the left up through the fresh snow.  

And here's what it looks like when I've shoveled the whole driveway, leaving the packed down snow from the tire tracks.  Then I have to get out the ice scraper and scrape off the tracks.  Just one pass on the fresh snow wasn't too hard.  But if a car goes back and forth over the uncleared driveway, the packed area gets wider and wider and harder and harder to scrape off.  And when it becomes icy it's much harder.  For people with flat driveways, this is less of an issue.

So I used the ice scraper.  

Now, if it gets sunny and/or windy and dry, then this will just evaporate and not leave any ice to catch an unwary heel.  But if it rains and freezes, then I have to get out the gravel.  I should have no trouble getting my car up the driveway now for when the snow plow comes.  

Sometimes I wonder why I write posts like this. I think there's value in documenting the ordinary, things that normally don't get noted. It's also because I don't have to think too much to get a post up,   people who don't have snow don't think about these things.    We do have a southern exposure, so when it is sunny and warms up a bit (it's in the teens now) the driveway will get all icy as snow on top melts, flows down, and then freezes overnight.  This is all preventive work, and I'm glad I'm still fit enough to be able to do it.  The body likes being given a workout in the fresh cold air.  

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