Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

There is a big difference between Prairie snow and West Coast snow.

Prairie snow is fluffy, dry and fairly easy to drive in.  Unless, of course, the weather plummets to -28 C with relentless wind resulting in limited visibility like it was today in Calgary, Alberta. In that case it’s the rest of Mother Nature’s fury you have to deal with.

Then there is West Coast snow. 

The blankets of white are gorgeous for about 24 hours before the tinges and splashes of grey slush take over.  Our snow, at least down near sea level, is heavy, wet and slippery.  It’s hell to drive in and wrecks havoc when temperatures drop below zero turning everything into an Olympic size skating rink.

Vancouver drivers tend to be the laughing stock of Canada when it snows.  Prairie folk and those from out East poke fun at our inability to drive in only one centimeter of the white stuff.  Yes, a lot of drivers need to slow down when it snows, and just because a person is behind the wheel of a four wheel drive or an all wheel drive vehicle does not make them immune to slipping and sliding all over the road.  But it’s not just the drivers, it’s the snow!

Our snow is like the evil little step-child of the Canadian snow family – at first glance it’s pretty in all it’s sparkling splendor, but before you can say, “How charming!” the evil little step-child has turned the road beneath your wheels into a merry-go-round with no way for you to get off the ride. 

Today saw the first snowfall of the season and I woke to a snow-covered neighborhood.  The road in front of our house was packed solid.  My truck’s four wheel drive and appropriate tires came in handy, but I still putted down the street knowing I could end up in the ditch if I wasn’t careful. 

Remember the stop sign by my house?  You’ll never guess what happened there this afternoon.

If I was a game show host and your guess was ‘an accident’, you would be going home a winner.  Someone was going too fast, couldn’t stop at the stop sign, slid through the intersection and t-boned a neighbour of ours.  No one was hurt but both vehicles sustained significant damage and had to be towed away.

So please, forget about our Prairie and East Coast friends laughing at us.  Because really, they can’t laugh at our inability to drive in this snow until they’ve come out here and tried it themselves.

Just slow down, ensure your vehicle is properly equipped for winter driving, take your corners with care, watch out for pedestrians forced into the roadway by snowed-in sidewalks, don’t slam on the brakes at the top of a snow covered hill and take extra time to get to your destination.

With a little patience and a lot of care we will all get to where we need to go.

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7 Responses to "Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!"

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