Yesterday we attended the memorial service for our friend Bob. It was held in a community hall in a very small Colorado farming community, attended by several dozen family and friends. It was a simple ceremony, nothing special in the liturgical sense, but all of us who knew and loved Bob had the chance to remember him together, and celebrate all he meant to us. Several of his former law enforcement colleagues also attended, in uniform. It was good to see one older man, of Bob’s and my vintage, wearing a well-worn 1911-style pistol in a drop holster as his duty weapon. From the shine on the grip and grip safety, it had been well-used for a long time, and I’m sure he can wield it as effectively (or more so) than any modern “plastic fantastic”. Jeff Cooper would have been happy to see it.
A fair number of Blogorado regulars came out here for the occasion, and offered love and support to Bob’s wife and daughter. As always with our crowd, everybody brought food; and the local farming community seems to operate on the same principle that “Food is love. Eat! Eat!” At one point, when a late arrival texted to ask whether he should bring anything, the response was to threaten them with bodily harm if they brought any more food. I think the family will be eating the leftovers for several weeks yet!
It snowed yesterday, seemingly heavily to those of us from non-snowy climates, but dismissed as “nothing to worry about” by those who experience it more regularly. Driving back to our hotel from the farm yesterday evening, in the gathering gloom, was an interesting experience for me as a driver. I asked Miss D., who learned to drive in Alaska, to give me pointers as I drove, because I’m very much a novice at driving on snow and ice. I may have given her a few white-knuckle moments, but generally there were no problems, and we made it back to the hotel unscathed. I learned the hard way to double (or more) my braking distance, because traction on slippery snow isn’t what I expected. Fortunately, on country roads with no other traffic in sight, I learned that lesson the easy way. (Also, traction on dirt farm roads is, oddly enough, better in the snow than on tarred roads – the dirt doesn’t freeze over as much as snow melting on tarmac, meaning there’s less ice to worry about.)
We’ll be heading for home today, along with most of our crowd, after another delicious breakfast at the Obligatory Cow Reference. Please keep us in your prayers for traveling mercies. I hope normal blogging will resume tomorrow.
Do be very watchful for drifting snow. Even if you don't get visibility issues, it can be deadly. If it's below freezing but close to it, sunshine will warm the asphalt, drifting snow will melt and then freeze to ice. This ice will be hidden beneath more drifting snow. Causes serious wrecks every year in CO, WY, MT, ND, AB, SK.
You can run 50-55 on the dirt roads because you DO have traction, but yes, stopping distances double (or more), along with slowing for turns! 😀
Yes, watch for drifting snow. If the wind is at an angle to the road you can start to get drifts across the road, which is treacherous.
I'm old enough to have had plenty of slips and slides, and been in the ditch a time or two, that I don't trust an asphalt road surface enough to go fast unless it's quite dry. And a road can look OK, and still be slick.
My favorite technique for driving in blizzard conditions is to get behind a big truck and keep his tail lights in sight but with as much space as conditions allow behind him. If there's any hazard to hit, he'll take it out hopefully with plenty of warning to stop.
It's not just stopping distances either, slow WAY down for curves but keep enough momentum to keep moving. Stopping on any sort of uphill slope means you might not get moving again.
I'll be checking for the AAR when you're safely home!