Last time I left you I had just finished waiting out my first blizzard off I-80 in Pine Bluffs. I was so glad I didn't have to drive in that stuff again. After all, it's spring! Last week we were leaving Fontana, California with almost 40,000 pounds of something for UPS. This is an on-time, customer-watch load. This means we can't be late, and the customer can track our progress via the internet. What it really means to us is that we have no spare time built into our schedule.We went up I-15 towards Salt Lake City. At I-70 we made a right and headed towards Denver. Now this is a real scenic route, full of tight turns, a 10,603 foot summit, and of course Vail, Colorado. I had sleet going up the 15. Once I hit I-70 it got worse - more snow. I hit mile post 21 and saw an SUV and its trailer on their side headed westbound. Around the corner and I'll be a son of a gun if the snow didn't abruptly stop; dry pavement and all. With the previous blizzard still fresh in my memory, I was so thankful.
I started getting snow about 200 miles later. It really didn't stick to the pavement, just to the windshield, mirrors, and lights. There is a long tunnel called the Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel. It is about 55 miles west of Denver. The grade up towards the tunnel is steep - I was doing about 25 MPH. I was in the truck lane because I was going so slow. Of course the plows had not completely cleared this lane. Ahead of me I can see a truck that is going slower than I am, I see why! He can't get any traction. I can't move over to the plowed lane 'cause I am too slow. I can't go to the right cause the guard rail is in the way. All I could do is slow down and get stuck with him!
My first time putting on chains! Wow, on a big truck, in the traffic lane, and in the snow! What more could I have asked for? Don't ask, you say; don't tempt fate. Too late. Fate was tempted and answered. After we got the chains on we couldn't release the air brakes. Our air dryer had frozen. See? Don't ever ask what else can go wrong! You may find out! After a delay that seemed to last for hours, the road service showed up and made temporary repairs. At last we continued on our way to Denver. We arrived at the UPS distribution center about 5 hours late. So much for an on-time load.
Well, what is the point to this rambling account? Not just another snow job, that's for sure. Be prepared for anything. Look far ahead while you drive, avoid trouble if you can, and keep a good outlook on life. You never know what will happen. Is the snow over? Who knows? But at least I survived these two ventures in it.
Until later, keep the bugs off your glass and the bears off your .... tail. God bless. Farmer Bob.