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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~


6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Oh, snow.

Okay, at this point I am just laughing. I know some of you will poo-poo the karma thing, but you have to admit, my karma/luck/circumstances have been pretty questionable this week....!

This morning, I was taking the trailer back up to the barn so I could drop it off and pack hay and supplies into it. I would not have had the trailer except for that I needed to make the emergency trip to the dealer last night to have them repair the hinges on the door that broke off yesterday. I thought about taking the trailer back last night, but didn't think that I would be able to make it up the slippery mountainside with all the mud and warm weather we had been having. What I did NOT count on was the fact that overnight, the temperature dropped and it started to snow. A lot. At home, we had a dusting, so I didn't think much of it. But at the barn, there were at least six inches. I started up the hill thinking that it wouldn't be a problem, I had trailered in horrible weather before and it had never caused me a problem.

What I forgot about was that I used to own a tank of a Dodge Durango, which was the sturdy all-weather vehicle I used for all of those snowy endeavors. I didn't think about the fact that this is the Dodge Ram, with very WIDE tires and an unweighted bed. It's still heavy, but it doesn't handle the same in bad weather.

When I got about halfway up the hill, all of the wet mud from yesterday has turned into a sheet of black ice underneath all of the snow. My truck, despite being in 4-low, shuddered to a stop and then started to slide backwards. I slammed on the gas, I slammed on the brakes..... I had nothing. I was rapidly accelerating backwards with a trailer down a mountainside with a serious 14 degree grade to it. I had a cliff on one side of me, and a steep hill on the other. Behind me, I couldn't see or tell what was in my way, and I was reaching higher and higher out of control speeds. So I did the only thing I could do to stop the runaway freight train. I jackknifed it. Into the hill.





I got lucky. The only damage to anything involved was caused by my sway bars, which punched into my bumper when I jackknifed, and to my muffler, which is now hanging sadly. My trailer is completely fine. Thankfully, a few friendly neighbors and Jen's husband found me and helped rescue me. It took four men and four hours (in the 14 degree weather) to finally get my rig up the hill. I've never burned so much rubber in all my life trying to spin my tires up the mountainside.


Thank god there wasn't a horse in the trailer. I think I would have died.


We are STILL set for an early AM departure tomorrow. If I can, you know... get out of the barn driveway and everything. I am pretty sure that after today, I never want to live anywhere snowy ever. Ever. Again.

20 comments:

Abby said...

Oh don't worry, last year Dallas got 12 inches! Good thing that doesn't happen often!

Gingham said...

holy SHIT. That is terrifying. Kudos to you for some seriously good thinking under pressure. I would have been sitting behind the wheel going "ohgodohgodohgod."

Melissa said...

Wow, glad that one ended up okay! Good thinking to jackknife it, it'd never occurred to me you could use that as an emergency stop. You're cool under fire.

After all that, driving to Texas will be a piece of cake!

eventer79 said...

Geez, Andrea. I wouldn't rush out and buy a lottery ticket this week, LOL. Smart reaction on the jacknifing though and glad there was no major damage. Bumpers are totally expendable. Yes, sadly 4x4 does nothing for ice.

Now you know why I stay in the south! Good luck in the move!

Dom said...

E-brake failed too? Shit that's scary

Kate said...

Oh god, I was on the edge of the seat reading this!! Thank god the trailer survived. Best of luck on your move, and I hope you won't need it!
Oh, and I agree with Eventer76. Go buy a lottery ticket ;)

Deered said...

Dom, it's not so much a e-brake failure when on ice, it's that since the tyres do not have any traction, there is no friction against the road to stop.

dp said...

Good thinking, Andrea!

Mrs Mom said...

Girl, THAT is what the long haul drivers in my family call "A$$hole Sucking Seat Cover" driving.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow!

Angelia Almos/Angie Derek said...

Quick thinking. Good job.

Sydney_bitless said...

Holy shit thats terrifying! Get some bags of sand in the back of that bed.

sumire7 said...

Just glad you and your trailer are ok. I had a very similar occurence about 2 winters ago. I was driving a 2-wheel drive Suburban with a small 2 horse attached with 2 ponies in it heading to a christmas tree farm for pony rides (insane, I know, but it was work). I turned down the wrong street and ended up in some neighborhood, well when I was trying to get out of there and went up this hill (which was ice), the truck and trailer just slid backwards down the hill. Somehow it stopped at the bottom without jacknifing and about 1 foot from a mailbox. The ponies were fine except all the hay flew backwards which they didn't mind. Many salt bags later we were able to get it up the hill.
I know how scary that is!

Frizzle said...

Eeeeeeeeek! Yes, snow/ice is the devil! That is one of the reasons I now live in Miami. Glad everyone survived and there's no major damage!

On the karma/bad luck front -- eh, I'm not impressed. ;-) One week last year, my dog died, my grandfather died, and I was in a head-on collission that totalled the car. That same week, my aunt broke her foot and her cat got run over by a car (and died) and it was her father (my grandfather) who passed away; yeah, my family was feeling pretty cursed that week! So, by comparison, you're doing pretty well.

Good luck with the move! I would wrap Gogo in bubble-wrap and Kevlar if I were you.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Bad karma would have left you worse off..it was LUCK that had you think to jack knife it, and that it worked and that people were there to help out in the end. See?? :)

Dressager said...

I have never even driven on ice before, much less snow. You handled that superbly!!

Remember, snowless Texas loves you!! It's in the upper 60s, low 70s right now. It's absolutely lovely.

Barbara said...

Cool under fire! Good job and glad everything is pretty much ok. The worst hauling experience I ever had was trying to get home from a show in an unexpected ice storm. Scary stuff.

Terry said...

OMG!!! How scary! Glad you are ok.

GunDiva said...

I'm pretty sure I would have shat myself. It was pretty quick thinking to jack knife yourself to stop.

Good luck getting out of your driveway tomorrow and please, Please, PLEASE have a safe and uneventful move.

Muriel said...

Texas sounds very good right now! We have snow forecast for friday Boooo. I envy you.

I wish you a safe journey to your new home.

SmartAlex said...

Well that was a craptastic mess to be in. I'm glad there was towing type help ahead. Thanks for taking the time to take photos like a good blogger. This will remind me to stick to my conviction of NEVER trying to tow in the snow.