Nobody starts college without going through freshman orientation and getting a student handbook. But anyone can move up north from Florida and dive straight into a North Country winter with no preparation whatsoever. What could possibly go wrong?
A Newcomer’s Guide to North Country Winter
It’s Darwin pure and simple: walking across thin ice,
driving on bald tires, making snow angels after drinking
tequila—It’ll get you tossed right out of the gene pool.
You have to do math in winter. There’s an optimum speed
for any road conditions that will keep your car between
the ditches. Any faster keeps the wrecker’s kids in college funds.
If you don’t watch where you put your feet while also watching
what’s coming down the road, you’ll either break a hip or be
lost beneath a beer truck. It’s called situational awareness.
The right amount of snow shoveling allows your car to blast
out the drive onto the road. Miscalculate by 10% and you’re
a foot short of the pavement with all four tires off the ground.
And if you shovel too much too fast, there’s the cardiac arrest.
So, tale your time and cultivate good relations with your neighbors.
If you do something stupid, they’ll help you out–laugh, but help.
I have miscalculated that last 10%, and YES, I was off the ground with my driving wheels no longer in contact with this Earth. Additionally, I always found that the first wet winter day with ice on the roads were the worst. Not for my driving, I was used to it. But because of all of the SUNY Long Island students, and the Clarkson International students (read this as; India, Saudi Arabia, etc., you know HOT countries), were not used to driving on ice, (ice are those cute little cubes that you put in your drinks – RIGHT?). Every year, driving in those first winter precipitations (I can’t even call them storms), was both hilarious, and terrifying. Thanks Dale – another masterpiece.
I remember once on the Northway looking out my side window and seeing a car going the same speed as me in the next lane, doing a a 360 every couple of seconds. This went on for a quarter mile before he wound up in the median. Fortunately not in my grill.