Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘Yamaha Grizzly

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.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

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.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

January 20, 2023 at 7:00 am

Drifted Driveway

with 2 comments

My system of plowing in the middle of big snowstorms to avoid dealing with too many inches at one time doesn’t work so well when you are out-of-town during the snowfall events.

There were two storms while we were in Florida over the weekend.

Mid-morning yesterday, I received a phone call from McKenna. First, she explained that her boyfriend got his truck stuck trying to get out of the driveway. Second, she got her truck stuck trying to pull him out.

It turned out that the assessments she gave us in response to our queries over the weekend from Florida about whether the driveway needed to be plowed, or not, were based on how things looked out on the back deck, not the actual driveway.

The wind blowing across the driveway from the open field at the top of the first hill took the roughly 10-inches that fell in two separate events on Thursday and Saturday and firmly packed it into about a 36-inch deep drift. The deck on the back of the house benefitted from wind clearing a lot of the snow off and sunshine melting what was left.

It didn’t look very intimidating.

The driveway, however, looked pretty darn intimidating, but they didn’t realize that until they had both tried driving into it.

By the time I got home, they had successfully dug through the worst part of the deep snow and were able to get their trucks out. I spotted their tracks and decided to see what my Crosstrek could do.

About two-thirds of the way up the first slope, I could see that the undercarriage of their trucks had pressed on the snow significantly. I knew then I was in trouble. I’m pretty sure my car has less clearance than their trucks.

Luckily, Cyndie was there with a shovel. She had smartly parked her car on the roadside, having arrived when the trucks hadn’t been completely extricated yet. I dug out enough of the snow from beneath the car that I was able to move forward and keep going toward the house.

Being cocky, I forged ahead and tried to back the car into the garage like I usually do. I got stuck again, now spinning on glare ice beneath all the snow.

After a little more shoveling, I got the car into the garage. Then it was time to change clothes and jump on the Grizzly, to see if I would be able to plow all the heavy, wet snow.

It was a trick, and the driveway didn’t give in without a fight. The drift was too much for the ATV. Every time I made a pass, the firmly packed snow would push the Griz out and around. It looked like I was plowing an “S” curve.

I dug out a section to find where the pavement ended, which revealed how much snow was left to move. Much of that volume was moved by hand, with a scoop shovel, instead of with the plow.

While I was plowing down by the road, I paused to pick up the pieces of our mailbox, which pops apart when blasted by snow flying off the county plow. It was easily repairable.

Once the driveway was wide enough to easily fit vehicles, I was able to move on to cleaning snow off the roof near the front door, and then shoveling the heavy, wet snow again, to clear the steps and walkway.

We are definitely not in Florida anymore.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

February 27, 2018 at 7:00 am

Epic Normal

leave a comment »

Some days are just days. The simple steps of tending to basic maintenance and chores that happen every day can become so routine they fade to obscurity.

Yet, living it feels anything but obscure. Each simple accomplishment brings huge satisfaction.

This weekend, having our son, Julian, visit to pick up a package that Fed-Ex delivered here, and recruiting his help with some compost distribution and wood splitting, were particularly rewarding.

We used the Grizzly to pull trailer loads of wood, and with him driving, I gained a perspective of the squeaky brakes that helped to push me toward finally taking it in to professionals for service. Julian helped me get the ATV secured in the bed of our truck and I dropped it off in River Falls.

It could be several weeks until I see it again, so we are hoping there won’t be significant need for clearing the driveway of snow until well after that.

Maybe in a sympathetic response to Delilah’s painful condition, I experienced a return of degenerating disc symptoms as I leaned forward to pick up a piece of firewood, which brought a quick end to the delightful progress we were accomplishing. I’m on limited duty once again.

Luckily, that presented no disruption to a planned visit from a co-worker and her husband. She wanted to surprise him with the trip because he has a big appreciation for the majesty of horses, despite little access to them. Cyndie was wise enough to guide some time inside the fence for them, a step that is reserved for very few visitors.

As always, Legacy proved the consummate companion for the interaction with his herd-leading confident calmness. Dezirea couldn’t spare but a moment to accommodate us, as her attention was otherwise fixed on something in the distance that I couldn’t see.

Regardless the obscuring nature of the inherent normal-ness of the weekend, it all felt perfectly epic.

Given the right perspective, living in the moment can provide that result.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

November 5, 2017 at 10:43 am

Sinking Feeling

with 2 comments

I was all fired up to pick up where I left off on Saturday with the plowing of trails, but my plan changed quickly when I discovered a flat tire on the Grizzly. Actually, the fact that it was flat was no surprise. I’ve been nursing that tire for quite a while because it has had a slow leak.

The difference now is that it is not as slow a leak anymore. When I added air there was a very audible hissing. I had never been able to actually hear the leaking air before yesterday. Time for some Slime.

Actually, the time for Slime was way back when I first realized it needed air every time I wanted to use the ATV. Maybe I was thinking this would be one of those problems that would go away if I ignored it long enough.

It wasn’t one of those problems.

I rearranged my goals for the day and turned my attention to moving hay bales from the shed into the barn. When I slid the barn door open I discovered the iron rail that is supposed to be a catch for the two doors had dropped out of reach.

dscn5720e

Or maybe the ground has heaved up around it. It’s confusing.

I don’t know what the difference is from last year, when the ground and the rail both heaved up to the point we were rarely able to use the big doors.

All I know for sure is, the ground sure moves a lot around here.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

January 16, 2017 at 7:00 am