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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Archive for January 20th, 2023

Beating Expectation

with 4 comments

With 6″ of heavy new snow on the driveway and more falling yesterday morning, I figured I better plow before it got to be more snow than the ATV could push. While shoveling the front steps and walkway I discovered the snow was stickier than I’d expected, which threatened to make the plowing job too much for the Yamaha Grizzly.

Just as I suspected, the snow wasn’t rolling off the blade as fast as it was piling up in front of it. On the uphill climbs, it became too much to push and I had to back up to make a fresh start around the piles. The driveway was becoming a mess that I feared I wouldn’t be able to clear over the tall banks. I bought some time by focusing on clearing around our mailbox and at the start of the driveway. Then it was time to try making my way up the full length again.

The third time was the charm. I made incremental progress with each pass and was able to maintain a high enough speed that the sticky snow was finally flying off the plow blade by the end. I was surprised that I had been able to clear so much heavy snow as well as I ultimately did.

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The plowed portion continues to narrow compared to the full width of the pavement but it is wide enough for a vehicle. The old Grizzly deserves more respect than I was giving it.

I’ll give myself a little credit for being able to maintain forward progress as the ATV slid sideways against the weight of snow on the blade.

Around the middle of the day, we caught a break in precipitation that showed up on the radar as an isolated pocket surrounded by snow all around us.

As the hours wore on we received more snow but it was warm enough that most of it seemed to be melting on contact. Much of the driveway remained snow-free and very wet. Where it wasn’t clear to the pavement, another inch or two were getting added.

There remains plenty to clean up today and temperatures are expected to remain below freezing for a while so it will be a challenge shoveling what was soft yesterday but frozen solid now.

I’m feeling renewed sympathy for the people of Buffalo, NY, who had to dig out from under multiple feet of snow. It is getting hard for me to throw the shovels full over the growing piles along the edges. I don’t know how they have dealt with shoveling three or four times the amount I’m facing.

Maybe I’ll get lucky today and the level of difficulty shoveling will beat my expectations like the plowing did yesterday.

Wish I was feeling luckier than I actually do this morning.

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Written by johnwhays

January 20, 2023 at 7:00 am