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I still suck at backing up

This time, however, I made it out of the driveway.

There was just a dusting of snow at Toad Woods. I had no problem climbing debgeisler and benveniste's driveway with a similar depth of snow 80-some miles later, but the snow texture in Middleton is completely different. It's grittier. The dusting in Wales was the super-slippery kind. The stuff where when you stop for a light on a perfectly flat road, it's hard getting started again. More than the gentlest pressure puts your tires to spinning. There's no way to get up my driveway with the gentlest of pressure.

So the car simply stopped moving forward about 60% of the way up.

Tonight I was at least an equal-opportunity cruncher of car into snowbank. First I overcompensated to the right, and soon was stuck. Okay, at least I could get out the driver's door. That was a win. I pulled the coal shovel out of the back of the car, cleared a bit of snow from behind the back passenger tire, but then took a tip learned from AAA Guy and focused on clearing snow'n'ice'n'plow leavings from the front passenger tire.

I was soon loose and continued backing down the driveway, slowly, slowly, eyes first on one sideview mirror, then the other, then the back, lather, rinse repeat.

Yep, sure enough, next thing I knew, the car was scraping snowbanks on the driver's side. I didn't actually get stuck that time, instead managing to rock'n'slide my way back until I was headed straight for the passenger side snowbank. The tire tracks of my journey to the bottom of the drive were quite a sight.

Once there, I pulled the coal shovel out once more and scraped the slimy-slippery thin layer off the flat "launching pad" area of the driveway. The snow was falling so fast that the driveway was white once more by the time I finished. Taking my chances, I jumped quickly back into the car, vroomed my way across the launch pad, then successfully slithered all the way up the rest of the driveway. I bet that left another interesting set of tire tracks, but it was midnight dark and I wasn't about to turn around and head back down the driveway so I could see them with my headlights.

Roads were bad until 2-3 miles before Sturbridge, then they were only occasionally problematic for the rest of the trip.

It's good to be here. Here being Deb & Mike's as opposed to here being a snow bank, rest area, or some other waypoint.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 8th, 2011 10:14 am (UTC)
*whew* What a nightmare! Glad you made it out ok and are safe and sound in Middleton.
Feb. 8th, 2011 02:05 pm (UTC)
I'm glad she's safely here, too...although the only proof I have is a computer in the kitchen and a car next to the garage. (Oh, and the lights got turned off at some point in the middle of the night.)
Feb. 8th, 2011 01:09 pm (UTC)
I suck at backing up, too. I don't get it--I am GREAT at parallel parking, and there is backing up in that, but just plain backing up, ugh. I'm impressed that you got out at all; I'm sure I couldn't.
Feb. 8th, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC)
I suck at parallel parking, too, though not as badly as I suck at backing up. Mostly, my parallel parking is completely unreliable. Sometimes, it's an absolute dream. It's especially nice when that happens with a passenger in the car and we end up in a parking spot they were sure the car wouldn't fit in.

Other times, it's profoundly embarrassing. Especially when a client is standing witness out on the sidewalk.

With parallel parking, my brain knows what the car needs to do, step by step. I can see all the little diagrams, and what the wheels and steering wheel need to do at every step. I'm just don't have an intuitive sense of where the edges of the car are located, so I blow the angles because I don't really know exactly where I am.

My brain is now hardwired knowing what I need to do with the steering wheel to get the tires where I need them to be when moving forward. But any motion other than parking, it simply doesn't have for moving backward.

That lack of knowing exactly where the car's edges are is the primary reason I love, love, love driving small cars. They give me more room to manuever within "my" space -- my lane, a parking ramp, parking spaces in parking lots, everything.
Feb. 8th, 2011 08:58 pm (UTC)
Um, anonymous is me. I wasn't logged in from Firefox. Sorry!
Feb. 8th, 2011 09:08 pm (UTC)
J also has a LOT of trouble knowing where the edges of the car are.
Feb. 8th, 2011 03:33 pm (UTC)
Friends of my father had a splendid house up on the hill outside Santa Barbara (with a great view over the ocean). Their driveway twisted down from the road, and was a bit tricky to back up. So one side of the garage had doors on BOTH ends, and a turntable beyond it. You drove through the garage onto the turntable, pushed the button on the remote for that, it turned the car around, then you pulled forward into the garage and closed the doors. The car is now facing out, ready to go forward up that nasty driveway.

Problem solved!
Feb. 8th, 2011 09:10 pm (UTC)
Cool--like a railroad roundhouse!
Feb. 8th, 2011 10:27 pm (UTC)
Yes, that's right. It was fun to ride on.

I didn't really make friends with them on my own, so I never visited after I stopped traveling with my parents, which was about at the beginning of highschool when I got the computer job and wanted to stay home and have fun and make money.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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