Sunday, January 01, 2017

Wrong Turn into Snow

This post could be entitled "How I Almost Became a News Story", too.

Original weather forecast for this week was dire, with snow predicted followed by a week of low teen temps.  So Julie from Spay Inc. went and bought a bunch of totes and some straw, to make cat shelters for colony cats, so they could remain warm.

I went up to her place this morning to help cut the holes, stuff them with straw and then we headed out, her in her van and me in my car.  We wanted to place them before all the super cold weather hit, at various colonies.   But this morning much of the dire forecast had changed to not so bad, really, weather.  Maybe some snow.

It didn't take us long to cut two holes in each of ten totes.  We settled on hinging the plastic flap by leaving parts of the top uncut, for the entry hole, then drilling a hole above the flap and in it, and using some bailing rope to tie it up, to act as a "porch" or rain flap for the entry hole.
Entrance hole for cats, with flap of plastic hinged and tied up, as a "porch".
 For the escape hole, because cats like another way out, we simply hinged the hole flap at the top, no tie up.   A cat can easily blast out of the hole if something entered through the entry hole.
Hinged flap for escape hole
We loaded most of the shelters into her van, with some food for some of the caretakers, and I was to follow her.  However, she was soon out of sight ahead of me.  When I got into a small town, I missed one turn but thought I hadn't and soon found myself going up and up, and into snow that became deeper by the moment.

There was nowhere to turn around and besides, I still thought I was on the right road.  Figured she'd just powered through it too.  But a few more miles, now way up and in I don't know, 3 or 4 inches of snow, deep enough for my front bumper to begin acting as a plow, I stopped, and tried to call her.

It was then I noticed my cell was not charged and pretty much dead.   I got a couple texts through.  A jeep passed me.  I thought if he stopped, I'd ask where I was.  I didn't know and my cell did not have enough juice to engage google maps.

I kept going and finally came to a junction.  Left or right.  Both went downhill, but one direction warned of steep corners.  Not good, I thought, in snow, so I went left.   My phone's compass worked without too much battery juice and it told me I needed to go left if I wanted a chance at hitting a main road.   Finally I lost elevation rapidly, and I knew I was o.k.  I came to a cross road that was familiar, knew it was near Sweet Home and then quickly was able to get back on highway 20 and then meet Julie back where we had originally intended to meet.  I had traveled nearly 20 miles by then.

I'd never been to Mountain Home before.  I have now!

Don't need chains with my car!   Ha ha.  My car travels beautifully on snow, nice and stable, no slipping or anything else.  Even starting from a stop on a snow covered steep hill.

I didn't take photos where the snow was deepest.

I had begun to wonder if I'd get into it so deep however I'd just have to sit there til it melted some.   Would have been no big deal.  I even had a little stove along, packaged soup, Christmas candy, hot chocolate, nuts, granola bars, wool socks and sweater and gloves and hat and blankets and even straw, inside some of the totes in my car, that would have made a nice cozy bed, or could be spread for traction.  I was good, prepared, except for the phone battery.

My car cigarette lighter doesn't work, never has, so I can't charge my phone when driving.  But I am going to purchase a rechargeable power source I can carry to recharge it after this experience.

We planted the shelters around, gave food to three different colony caretakers and then it was back home, feeling both  pleased and proud over my car's behavior in snow but also embarrassed over making one wrong turn and ending up like that.

I forgot to mention in my last post that on Thursday before the coast trip Friday, I took two more cats from the county park, both tame, both cats found in the park, to Heartland to be fixed.  Turned out Kelly, the long hair delightful torti, was already fixed, but she got flea treated and wormed and shots, which was good.  Darkly, the big mostly black friendly boy, got neutered, and wormed, and he badly needed that worming.  Plus shots and flea treatment.  I'd taken them back Thursday late afternoon, to recuperate inside a camp host's RV.

Kelly, free roamed my car, at the county park, on Wednesday, before I took her home to be checked to see if she was fixed.  She was.

Darkly awaits his neuter
Darkly free roaming my car
Happy New Year, everybody!   Let it Snow because my car is awesome!


  1. What a adventure. Happy New Year to you and pleased you learnt your lesson about a charged phone.

    1. Yes, had I had the time, I would have stopped and played in it.

  2. I am very glad that you didn't get your fifteen minutes of fame on the news as being stuck in a snowstorm.
    Love those cat totes.

    1. Me too, on the 15 minutes. I can do without that!

  3. That sounds exactly like something that would happen to me. So glad you made it home safely! And nice shelters. Very cool.