Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Winter Driving

When I moved to Alaska, 8 years ago, I had never driven in snow. We moved up here from Oregon in February and got a crash course, literally, in winter driving. I think I was towed out of more snow berms that winter than everyone else in Alaska, combined. I won't even mention Zman's little guard-rail insident...

The weather here can be brutal. It's quite common that it will snow, then rain, then freeze, causing what I like to call the car-skating effect. Here is a little taste of what I mean.

Now I don't think twice about driving in some pretty nasty conditions. I can control a skid easily. I can drive on solid ice at 55 mph with one hand on the wheel. I can driving in blinding snow and 60 mph winds and I can parallel park on a downhill 30 degree slope on the passenger side of the car in 2 feet of snow and ice. (I call that taking Princess to school.)

It's interesting to me to see how much I've changed over the years we've been here. When we moved to Alaska I was pregnant with our first child; now I'm the mother of three, one adopted from Ethiopia. Life has a funny way of taking you by surprise. 8 years ago today we took a huge chance,picked up our whole lives and moved 1000 miles away from all of our family to Alaska... We wanted change and adventure. We wanted independence and autonomy. We jumped into the unknown with both feet... and I wouldn't change a thing!

Yes, that's me driving 40 miles an hour on solid ice while filming it with my camera. (That thud you just heard was my husband hitting the floor) Don't worry honey, no one was harmed in the making of this film.


Maggie said...

I know you're in AK and it has to be worse than it is here. But we just had a big old blizzard last week and that video could have been taken outside my front door. At work today we were goofing on Jeff Foxworthy's redneck routine with "You know you live in the midwest if..." My favorite was "You know you live in the midwest if you know what 'just turn into the slide' means."

Tricia said...

WOWZER - I am impressed!!!!!!

I have white knuckles just watching that!

Christie said...

I pretty much kept waiting for the car to slide right across the road, like it did for me when I went to college in Oregon. Slid right into the guard rail on an overpass and hit another car. Good times.

I'm so glad your video ended well!


Carrie said...


I'm pretty sure that weather in the Midwest is much worse than we get in this part of Alaska. We live in the southeast which is very similar to Seattle with less people and more snow. Having grown up in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, which gets about 1" of snow a year, I wasn't used to driving in snow at all when we moved here. Now I'm ready and if we every move to the Midwest (that's the sound of my husband laughing histartically..) I'll be ready to go.

I just wish the mountains were visible in that video...and the glacier which you can usually get a glimpse of on that stretch of road.