I have a STEEP driveway. It's the price I pay for my beautiful view, and quiet, and privacy. In life there are trade-offs, and when I bought my home, I thought I knew what I was doing. Last year I spent my first winter here. I hired a plow-guy. It didn't snow a lot last year but he still did a pretty crummy job on my driveway, and the last storm, which was the biggest, the ass-hat didn't show up at all. I was just a little put out, when I got home and had to park in the street and trudge up, not only because I live on a very narrow country road with no "on street" parking, but also because trudging is very low on my list of things I enjoy doing.
In the spring I decided to buy a big ol' truck, which I need for my business anyway, and a plow so I can do it myself, and not be dependent on some creepy half-wit to do it. So, I have been plowing my own driveway this winter, and there has been plenty of snow, and lots of opportunities for me to hone my plowing prowess as it were.
This last storm we had a couple weeks ago which dumped about 9 inches of hard-pack snow, the kind that's great for snowmen and snowball fights delivered a whole new experience to me. I keep a close eye on the weather to try to be sure that my truck and I will be at the top of the driveway in the event of a storm, because going down first is MUCH easier than the other way around. The storm came, I waited it out, and when it seemed like it was over, I went out to make with plowing. I plowed down the left side first, lifted the blade, went back up, repeated on the right side, no problem. Got back up, plowed the top, went back down to clean up better, went back up, nope, not this time. I lost my traction and couldn't get up. I backed down the road a ways to get a better run at it. I gunned it and got most of the way up the incline before I lost traction again, and started sliding backwards down the driveway. I struggled to get the truck into reverse, and pumped the brakes but just kept picking up speed. Wheeeeeeee! I'm gonna die! My butt was clenched so hard I thought my eyes would pop out of my head. I dropped the blade even though there was no snow left to pile up behind it and slow my decent. I knew that the snow bank on the other side of the road would not impede my progress towards the nearest tree, and there was nothing I could do about it. Then, right at the bottom of the driveway, somehow something dug in, and I stopped broadside in the road, my bumper about an inch from the snowbank on the other side. I just sat there collecting myself for a minute, trying to relax my grip on the steering wheel.
I decided to walk up. I wiped out almost immediately and realized I could not keep my footing on the driveway, so I walked up the side in the deep snow. When I got to the house, I put my snowshoes on, got a bin with sand and salt in it, put it on a sled and made my way back down the driveway sanding and salting until I reached the bottom. I threw everything in the back of the truck and braced myself for another attempt.
I made it! *phew* I called my client, and said, I won't be leaving the house today, so I'll see you tomorrow. It was then that I understood why my plow-guy disappeared without a trace, but he still could've called.