Snow men

Well, the trip to Edmonton last week seemed like a good idea when we started out. Clear, sunny, highways hotline reported ‘seasonal winter driving conditions.’ A little drifting dry snow. Then the wind picked up. A lot. If you’re Canadian, you understand terms like wind chill and white-out. That blowing snow came from the north for awhile, then from the south, polishing the highway and buffeting our car around. Just past Innisfree, Alberta, our car decided to have a mind of its own; maybe it was a patch of black ice coupled with a nasty wind gust, but we found ourselves, after some skillful manouvering on Rick’s part, backwards in the ditch. In a snowbank. A few cars and semi units passed us, apologetic faces in the windows, but within minutes as we sat figuring out where we were so we could call CAA, a truck stopped. Two nice farm boys who just had to be hockey players jumped out with a shovel, tow rope and big smiles despite not really being dressed for the nasty cold wind and blowing snow.

For 15 minutes, our helpful snowmen Ian and Isaac helped Rick dig us out. We gave up on the tow rope (where do you hook on to a Toyota Corolla anyway?) and with them pushing, I drove us back up onto the shoulder. All the while, son Jim is mildly interested from the back seat, but not wanting to miss too much of his movie on the iPad. But with the boys’ help, we were okay.

Big handshakes turned into big hugs and I pressed my card into Ian’s hand, asking him to email us so we could thank them properly. Another hug and more smiles and they were off. To date, they haven’t emailed us but I still hope they will. The weather got worse, and our 5-hour drive took over 8 with nerve-wracking spells of zero visibility, driving with our hazard lights on, straining our eyeballs to make out taillights in front of us. The worst of the photos below were still the good spells!

Two days later, the trip home was made smoothly in clear, sunny weather. The only evidence of the nasty experience were one after another tire tracks into ditches and median where cars and trucks had ploughed blindly off the road. A car here and there, including a truck and horse trailer, were still getting towed out.

Thanks Ian and Isaac, our snow men. If you know these helpful snow angels, tell them to email us!

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