truck skating


Turn the wheel into the skid! Scrunch against the curb. No! Turn the other way. Now back into the skid. Foot off the brakes. Watch out for that parked car! I was trying to maneuver a couple tons of 1988 Ford Bronco down an ice-covered hill in downtown Seattle. Did I mention that there were plenty of cars in front of me and behind me? The worst occasion was when I must have slid within centimeters of a parked car and street lamp-post but presumably the Flying Spaghetti Monster put a little noodly appendage on my vehicle and nudged me just the right way and I straightened out again.

I should hastily add that I wouldn’t have been hurt; it would have been one of those slow motion slide-into-something collisions that happen on hills whenever this city ices up.

I’d been watching it snow off and on most of the day from Maggie’s hospital room. What a novelty when it snows here. Some hospital staff mentioned that I might want to start home before it got late and all that wet snow started to freeze. Good plan. I hit the road and found myself in the Worst. Traffic. Ever. After moving about one car-length every ten or fifteen minutes, I finally got onto Boren Avenue, at the top of the hill, headed down. Surely, I thought, this road will have been salted, sanded, and the snow worn away down to the pavement by heavy traffic. Wrong. I inched my way down, slowly. One block. Then two blocks. Sliding into the curb regularly. When I saw people in apartment buildings taking photos of all the cars coming down the hill, I knew I was definitely on the wrong side of the camera. At the next stoplight a man on the sidewalk let me know that the next and last block down the hill was a disaster, everyone sliding into everyone else.

He gave me some good advice and I miraculously was able to make a turn, round a block, and take the big elevation drop on Seneca Street instead of Boren. That was much better except for one out-of-control monster truck demolition slide. Things were better downtown when I finally got to sea level. I gradually made it through the city and out onto Elliott Way, where I could even take it out of first gear and make some headway. How far would my faith in FSM get me, I wondered?

Ballard was looking ugly when I turned off onto Market Street. Not many people driving — a bad sign. Then I branched off onto 24th; getting close to home. It turned out that the Spaghetti Monster would see me to within five blocks of my house, past three of the four jack-knifed or stuck Metro buses sitting at various angles where 24th starts to edge upward. That’s where my tires hit ice and would go no farther. I managed to half-slide, half-maneuver the truck backwards off the street and into a parallel position against the curb. Facing the wrong way. On the wrong side of the street. Also half-way blocking someone’s driveway, but it was the best I could do.


One thought on “truck skating

  1. gl.

    gack. i’m glad we missed this. arizona was cold, but dry. also sorry to hear about maggie’s hospital stay. that doesn’t sound like a very happy thanksgiving. 😦

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