Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Adventures in Car Trouble (Part I)

On Sunday, it never stopped snowing. The weather proved to be pretty tough on the car. We had a bunch of problems.

Snow Plow

On the way to the airport, a snowplow crept so far into our lane that it ran us off the road, throwing us into a skid. Luckily, my mom is a fantastic driver. She corrected the slide, and we continued on our merry way.


Then, parked at the airport, as Mom and I were saying our goodbyes, we discovered that there was so much sludge caked around the tires that there was only about an inch between the muddy snow and the rubber. The tires couldn't turn properly. Mom (already a little worried about snow plows coming too close) made me promise not to drive back up the mountain until it was off. She suggested a car wash.

Unfortunately, a car wash with an outside temperature of sixteen could have its own share of problems. For instance, water getting in the doorframe and freezing the lock shut. (I had an awful vision of parking in front of our cabin with the overwhelming need to use the bathroom and not being able to get out.) That would be unhelpful.

So, I went after an ice pick. When I couldn't find one, I improvised. I bought a $0.99 screwdriver at Target and some icemelt salt at Target. Then I chipped away at the muddy snow caked around the tire. Picture a girl in a purple puffy down jacket kneeling down at each tire, digging holes in the muddy slush, and cheering every time a chunk fell onto the Target parking lot. (I was so proud of my success that I called my dad to brag.)

The windshield

The salt they put on the roads has this habit of dissolving, and creating an awful sort of mud that can be easily sprayed on your windshield. A little white car cut me off on the way to the highway and covered my windshield. I had to park at the first turnout and break out the Windex so that I could see.

The incline

It's not a big hill. I'm talking about twelve feet with a gradient of maybe 20. I've never once had trouble before. No one I know has ever had trouble before (that I know of anyway).

But I went up this hill three times. The car would go up a little, stop, spin its wheels until the snow gave way to ice underneath, and then slide backwards. Annoyed and anxious to be inside, I decided to wait until the snow plows came by and parked the car on the wrong side of the road.

Unfortunately, I was in a kind of distracted mood, and I lost track of the keys.

Locking the keys in the car

I dug through my purse, my pockets, and all the bags I brought in with me. Not there. I surmised that I must have locked the keys in the car. I went looking through the house for another key. Not there. Sadly, my family only has one key to that car.

The other set was with a management service that would not be open till morning. I contacted them, and then I trudged back through the snow to put a note on the windshield.

Then, I waited until morning - when someone could drop the key by.

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