Saturday, February 2, 2008

2/1/2008 Slipperier When Wetter

Is "slipperier" a real word? It definitely describes the walking conditions Friday night. Wednesday was slippery when it was raining on top of ice. Friday it wasn't really "wetter" but snow was covering the icy patches and more precipitation was coming down, so it was definitely more treacherous.

Most every Friday night, an email goes out to all faculty announcing when and where The Faculty Seminar will be held that evening. (Translation: Faculty Seminar = Happy Hour) Here is yesterday's announcement: "Seminar today depends on the weather, if it’s not freezing rain there will be a seminar. If it is freezing rain, probably not. The maybe seminar will be held at the Homestead at 5:00."

I was planning on going anyway, so I decided to risk the "maybe" Seminar. Sure enough, a nice crowd was gathered and it was a great time. Fortunately, I was wearing my Yak Trax which give extra traction. I wasn't wearing them the day that I fell because I knew there were dry patches of sidewalk and I didnt' think you were supposed to wear Yak Trax on sidewalk or dry ground. But that misconception has been corrected by a number of folks. So I wore them yesterday morning to work and was now wearing them on my walk to Seminar.

In the late afternoon, big puffy snow flakes started falling. The prediction was for freezing rain but we got snow instead. By the time I left for Seminar, there was at least an inch of snow on the sidewalks and streets (which hadn't been plowed) and little ice pellets were the precipitation of the moment. Not sleet or hail, just ice pellets. Tiny. They didn't hurt. But they gave the ground a definite crunch.

Several times my foot slipped on the ice underneath the snow, but my Yak Trax gave me extra traction and I remained upright. By the time I got to seminar and was going to take my Yak Trax off, I realized I had lost one! I only had on one Yak Trax. (one Yak Track?) I felt certain I would find it on the walk home. It would have to be on a sidewalk somewhere and there weren't many others out walking, so I didn't imagine anyone would be finding it.

Seminar was great fun. I even had dinner there. Several hours later, The Homestead was closing early due to the weather but the Seminar gang was still going strong. So the new plan was to go to The Dugout to kill some time and then head to the 9:30 movie--Junea. It had been too long of a week for me, I knew I wouldn't make it, so I headed home . . . and retraced my steps to look for my Yak Trax.

I didn't have to go far. I got to the intersection of Broadway and High Street (a blinking yellow light intersection) and there was a lone Yak Trax in the intersection. It didn't even look like it had been run over by a car. It was easy to spot sticking up out of the snow under the street light. (There are many parts of the walk that aren't as well lit as that intersection, so that helped.)

The rest of the walk home was really great. There were now about 3" of precipitation on the sidewalk. There was still the icy base, then lots of snow, and crunchy ice pellets mixed with snow on top of that. Everything was covered in a thick white blanket that glistened on top like a Christmas card that you paid extra for the white glitter. Coming down was some kind of tiny precipitation -- not sure if it was snow or ice-somethings -- and that caused a gauzy Doris Day movie effect on the light from the streetlights. It was incredibly picturesque. I'm sure it was cold (it was 18 degrees when I left my office to go to Seminar) but there was no wind and I had on my snuggly long coat so I didn't feel the cold. (No, it wasn't because of any beverages consumed at Seminar.) But it was a little more strenuous than usual because of the accumulated snow. It was more like my one snowshoeing experience than it was like walking.

The most treacherous part was our own driveway, but I made it safely. I don't think I'll be removing the Yak Trax any time soon.

I did get a very nice anonymous comment on my blog entry about my spill. At first I thought it was a spam comment because there are web crawlers that will try to post advertisements and spam in blog comments. But it was too specific to my entry, I think it must've been submitted by a real person. It said, "Go to and buy Stabilicers Anti-Skid Soles for your boots and you'll never fall again. These are built in Maine for Maine winters. Hope this helps future falls and injuries. An interested fan! Love your blogs read them everyday." It was such a nice entry, I hope it is by a real person. :-)

So look at the "studded snow tires for your shoes" link that my "interested fan" is talking about and then look at to see what Yak Trax look like. You just don't find products like this in Dallas. ;-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am very real. I was just so worried about you in the Maine snow and ice I thought I would suggest these Stabilicers for you hoping your falls would be minimized. Again, no spam here just a very concerned reader of your lovely blogs in Maine.