June 23, 2017

Damnation alley

122005driveway2.jpg
122005driveway.jpgThe road to hell, they say, is paved with good intentions. In the case of our driveway, it’s paved with ice. Welcome to our driveway — 450 feet of solid ice, sloped to a 35-degree angle, ready to defeat any and all comers.

The driveway has been more ski slope than road since the first ice storm nearly two weeks ago and stands inviolate today, still white, still frozen and still vexing to all but the most brave with four-wheel drive vehicles.

Our driveway resists all efforts to break it up with a pick or shovel, laughs at salt and de-icer and sends the snow blower into an ice-encrusted stall. The trees that provide so much cooling shade in summer keep the ice solid in winter — a triumph, once again, of Mother Nature over man.

Thankfully, the second storm was more sleet than freezing rain and that left a granular surface that Jeeps and allwheel drives can navigate with a good running start but venturing up or down can still be a white knuckle ride for those brave (or stupid) enough to try. It challenges us daily and stood as an icy welcome to the St. Lawrences, our house guests while their new home in Floyd County nears completion.

In the morning, when temperatures still hover in the teens, the ice is harder and slicker and the trip down is a pure E-ticket ride, the car hurtling towards the bottom in a headlong rush towards creek and disaster. With luck, you keep the car straight but you might be sideways looking at the approaching creek or woods with trepidation, wondering if your insurance agent will accept the story that you totaled your SUV in your driveway.

And they said moving to the mountains would be boring.

(Thanks to David St. Lawrence for capturing my tentative trip down the driveway (above) during the first ice storm week before last)

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