Thursday, February 25, 2010

Five Lessons from a Denver Snow

For those of you who follow our communications, you are aware that Pam and I recently enjoyed an extra couple of days in the Denver area due to snow. In fact, the snow met us a couple of hours before we arrived and accompanied us into Denver.

About 100 miles east of the city, we saw what appeared to be a heavy fog in the distance. That fog turned out to be snowfall. Temperatures rapidly dropped to the mid twenties and our speed slowed to match the temperature.

The road surface melted the falling snow, creating a mixture of slushy mud that blowing up quickly made the windshield an opaque mess. It was then that I learned::

Lesson #1: Never spray windshield washer fluid on a windshield at 24°.

Instead of wiping away the slushy mud mix, wipers scraped over an immediately glazed surface of mud ice mixture. There was no wiping it off and immediately I was driving by looking through a relatively clear hole in the ice…about the size of a quarter!

Turn the defroster on…FAST: full heat…full blower! In about a half an hour, enough heat had been generated to melt the base of the ice covered windshield. A few wipes and we were now able to drive through a mud smeared glass. Now, let’s spray some fluid on it.

Lesson #2: Once you have sprayed windshield washer fluid in sub-freezing temperatures, do not expect your washer to spray again until three days after any freezing weather!

Okay, you don’t care to listen to the rest of the story, so let me just give you the last three lessons in succinct form.

Lesson #3: Before you drive after a car has sat out during extensive snow, clean both the front and the rear glass completely. Once it is four or more inches thick, snow does not blow off the windows.

Lesson #4: Before you drive after a car has sat out during extensive snow, clean all snow from the hood of the vehicle as well as the front and rear glass. Although snow does not blow off the windows, all snow left on the front of the vehicle will become a blowing blinding blizzard as you accelerate. White out again!

Lesson #5: Before you drive after a car has sat out during extensive snow, clean all snow from the top of the vehicle adjacent to any doors that are to be opened as well from the hood of the vehicle and the front and rear glass. If you don’t you will quickly learn that while snow may appear as ice outside the vehicle, once inside (and it will rush inside at a rate that boggles your mind) it becomes liquid on the seat where you are about to sit. And don’t think you will brush it off before it melts. No way!

Well, there were other lessons from Denver in the snow, but those are enough for now. One final thought, snow often goes from west to east. We got to spend two extra days in Denver, because the front that dumped its glistening beauty on Denver, moved right down the interstate toward Texas! And Pam and I enjoyed every minute of it.

No comments: