Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sunday Drive 12: Stuck!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Start: Unknown
End: Unknown + small fraction
Driven: About 20 metres

I had been planning to drive to Regina to participate in Ice Dice rally-cross-on-a-frozen-lake, but the previous week had been exceptionally warm, and I did not think a race on a melting lake surface would actually happen. All of my plans and considerations came to nought, of course, when a major storm rolled in on Friday afternoon, blanketing the city and most of the province with a thick layer of very troublesome snow.

Being rather foolish in any case, I decided I wanted to drive around on Sunday anyways, to see the transformation of the landscape. I made it about 15 metres down the alley behind my apartment before ramming a snowbank and getting thoroughly stuck. In my (feeble) defence, it was overcast, and there was very little contrast at ground level; I didn't realize the snow in front of me was 50 cm deep until I got out my shovel and started digging.

Yup. Stuck. I'm an idiot.

In trying to dig myself out, I discovered I'd rammed the snowbank with sufficient momentum to drive the car up onto the snow, before the weight of the car compressed it into firmer hard-pack. A large but unknown fraction of the weight of the car was resting on the oilpan, pushing down on some quite hard snow. Even when I cleared the snow from around the front wheels, they just span ineffectually, as they were not actually pressed firmly against the surface.

It took me almost an hour to dig the snow out from under the oilpan and get the car moving backwards. Then my neighbour came out and helped me get back into my parking space, an ignominious but prudent end to my little misadventure.

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