Decided to try and spread de-icer on the driveway-turned-ice rink/ski jump Sunday afternoon.

First challenge: Finding de-icer. Most stores sold out. Finally located generic rock salt at Dollar General. Bought all they had.

Parked at bottom of hill and started spreading de-icer. Made it almost to the top with last batch when disaster struck. Both feet went out from under me and I landed hard on my back. Started long slide down hill, picking up speed as I headed towards the Wrangler at the bottom. Nothing to grab onto as I pick up speed. Brace for impact.

Hip strikes left front wheel as I grab the winch hook on the front of the Jeep to stop. The bad hip of course. Lay panting on frozen tundra while trying to catch breath. Hip and knees send massive pain signals to brain as I struggle to get up, boots slipping on the ice. Manage to limp back up hill without falling. An hour in the hot tub does not keep bruises from appearing on body. Pain spreads from sprained wrist and ankle.

Temperature tonight will not let the de-icer work on the frozen surface. And the weather forecast calls for an inch of snow tonight and another round of “wintry mix” (meaning snow, sleet and freezing rain) for Wednesday night.

It’s going to be a long winter.


  1. I plan to return to Virginia next year and I really like Floyd (have family in Blacksburg). My six years in northern Virginia amd two years in Roanoke did not prepare me for uour Blue Ridge winters. Is the Wrangler pretty much the vehicle to survive them?

  2. Tom:

    We have three Jeeps (two Wranglers and a Liberty) and consider them the cars to use here (both for snow in the winter and offroad fun in the warmer months). The downside is that none of them get good gas mileage.

    A lot of people in the county drive Subarus — a good four-wheel drive compromise between a car and a utility vehicle and, like most rural areas, this is pickup country.

    Bottom line: Some kind of four-wheel drive vehicle should be part of your stable. When we made the decision to move here from Arlington last year, we sold both of our sports cars (a Porsche 911 and a TR-6) along with our four-door, power-everything luxobarge, knowing they wouldn’t be practical here in the hills. We already had one Wrangler and the Liberty and bought the second Wrangler to keep on the farm here during the transition. Nowadays we wouldn’t drive anything else. And the Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep dealer is the only new car operation in the county.

  3. Hope you’re feeling better, Doug. We’ve had that type of weather in Missouri before. It’s no fun when you live on a hill-turned-ski slope, and we do.

    Try tying a rope to a tree at the top, and run it to a tree at the bottom, to hold onto. That’s how we got back and forth from the house to the car when we had two inches of ice on top of six inches of snow one year. Good luck, and hope the pain goes away soon!

  4. Your story is similar to mine. I moved to Franklin, WV from DC and live on top of a mountain. I tried to get my car back into the garage and had to leave it parked nearby as best I could as the place is a sheet of ice. But I did not fall. I was wearing Stabilicers Sport from LL Bean on my feet. They grip the ice really nice. It looks like I will be spending the winter stuck up on this mountain as I won’t try driving down a hill on smooth ice again. Their aint no guardrail on this here road…..lololol.

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