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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

North and South



When traveling, there's two things that tell me I'm in the real south. The first is that there seems to be a Waffle House on every other corner. There are not many of those in New England.

In a more serious vein, the other thing is long driveways. In snow country houses are built close to the road. It's especially noticeable with older houses, houses built before the invention of snowblowers. If you've got to hand shovel snow you don't want your house at the end of a 300 foot driveway.

Below the snow zone, long and winding driveways are more common. It's nice to have some distance and privacy from the road, without the snow removal penalty.

Snow shoveling is a depressing thing. All winter long the snow shoveler labors heroically. By summer, there's nothing to show for all this work. Next year, repeat.

There are a few long driveways in snow country. A home owner may think, no problem, I'll just put a plow on my truck or buy a snowblower. Plows are not cheap and they put an awful lot of wear and tear on a truck. Wise shoppers avoid buying former plow trucks. Snowblowers work, but are loud, smelly, burn gas, plus require maintenance and repair. Not only that, while it's possible to move snow faster than with a shovel, it's still a lot of work.

I'm too lazy to own a snowblower. True, I'd spend less time shoveling, but that time would be spent earning money to keep the snowblower going.

Once in a while, snow storms can overwhelm normal snow removal tools. Imagine getting several feet of heavy wet snow overnight. Once it has a chance to pile up, the only way to remove it is with a bucket loader. Normal plows and snowblowers cant' touch it.

There's a cabin just down the road from me with a long driveway. The owners normally only use it in the summer, but they spent the weekend there recently. Instead of plowing, snowblowing, or shoveling, they put on snowshoes and hiked in.

I knew a young couple who's house sat so far off the road, they'd use a snowmobile to get from their parking spot to the house. They put up with that for two winters before selling the place. All that hassle to get from the car door to the house added up.

Right now I'm wondering about the minimum amount of shoveling that will be necessary to get my boat out of the driveway. It always feels a bit weird to tow a sailboat through snow country. Once I get to the land of long driveways, it won't look so odd.

-Sixbears

17 comments:

  1. True, but we have mosquitoes that wear dog collars.

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  2. ...dang brother, you should just move down here to dixie, i don't miss those michigan winters one bit...fall, winter, spring here offer the greatest weather(and fishing) on the other hand, summers here are a scorcher...

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    1. I'm slowly working my way towards spending the cold months in the south and the hot months up north -the best of both worlds.

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  3. My driveway is 200 feet long. I never plow it; I just turn on the 4WD. I live only an hour and a half below the Mason-Dixon.

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    1. That doesn't work here. I've seen up to 5' of snow overnight. Took a day to shovel out a walkway to the road, a second day to free the first car and a third for the second.

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  4. "When traveling, there's two things that tell me I'm in the real south"......for me its going out to eat and usually being called either darling, sweety or sugar.....ahhhhh I love driving through Georgia

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    1. Good indicator. You know you have arrived.

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  5. I love my snowblower... depending on the kind of snow! The real heavy wet slusch can be a pain. Also glad I have a short driveway , but only because of the snow in the winter. Its also good to have an MP3 to listen to some decent tunes and/or podcasts during those chores

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    1. Glad it's working for you. I'm sure the tunes help.

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  6. Snow? I have forgotten what that looks like.

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  7. I can't imagine having to deal with snow! The mud around here is bad enough, believe me!

    Safe travels, buddy!

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    1. Mud has a season here all its own. Picture snow melt and spring rain, at the same time.

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  8. 85 degrees here today Sixbears!! To warm for January in Florida but I would rather sweep the sand off the porch than shovel the snow!!

    Florida Mom

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    1. I'm going to need a couple weeks to fully adjust, but it'll be worth it.

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  9. yes besides "wafflehouse"

    there is "south of thew border"

    and "we bare all"

    have fun traveling

    Wildflower

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