I’ve faced my share of danger in a lifetime dedicated to putting myself in harm’s way but nothing, repeat nothing, equals the sheer terror of facing our driveway after an ice storm.
Our 450-foot driveway slopes 35 degrees at its steepest point. The previous owner of our home totaled his SUV when he slid off the driveway and overturned into the woods below. Delivery trucks shun our driveway in the winter.
A friend who skis all over the world says he wouldn’t try to ski down our driveway on a bet.
“That road makes the Olympic ski jump in Innsbruck seem tame,” he sneered.
Facing the driveway on an icy morning requires a daredevil approach. You emerge from the warmth of the garage onto our land’s only flat spot — the concrete pad. Then you hit the gravel and brace for a sharp, right-hand turn that begins the plunge down the hill. Think of the first drop on a roller coaster. When the skid starts (as it always does), you turn into it hoping that the Jeep stays straight.
If you reach the bottom of the hill you still must face the possibility of sliding off the right into the weeping willow or the left into the creek. In the last three winters, I’ve plunged downhill forwards, backwards and sideways. Destroyed one of Amy’s flower beds last year but have, so far, avoided the woods, the weeping willow and the creek.
The temperature sits on 30 degrees, which means the slush from Monday’s melting is frozen. In a little while, I must leave to cover today’s court proceedings for The Floyd Press.
If I survive the trip down our driveway. If I don’t make it to court, somebody send a St. Bernard.