Thursday, February 4, 2010

Beware of snow drifts!

After taking a few days off to recuperate from a dislocated shoulder, I went out to help G-man gather more firewood yesterday. We've cleared the immediate area around the tent of "deadites" and are now making a concerted clearing effort in the direction our driveway will continue on once spring gets here. Well, the snow in that area is pretty much untouched, just a few rabbit tracks and places where Ripley has gone bounding after them. Since these trees are long dead and it's been so cold, anything under about 6" diameter you can pretty much just wiggle around until it breaks off at the stump... no chainsaw required... so I was trudging through the knee-deep snow cracking off the littler stuff while Gungnir was focused on the larger stuff and cutting my piles of smaller stuff down to fit into the sled with the chainsaw.

I came upon a clearing that didn't have many trees, but a lot of fairly decent-sized deadites on the other side. The snow was pretty even, with just a few little hillocks to indicate that there were a couple of small saplings hidden underneath, so I picked a pretty direct route across the clearing trying to avoid the saplings since they like to trip me. Unfortunately, you never really know what's beneath the snow... or what's NOT beneath the snow!  I got just about dead center into the clearing, and had a terrifying split-second when my leg went down through the snow, up to my knee, and just kept right on going! Apparently, I'd just found a ditch hidden in a snow bank. I concentrated really hard to keep upright and just go down, rather than pitching forward and possibly impaling myself on something or ending up buried face-down in snow.

So there I was, right leg buried hip-deep in snow and left leg bent backward behind me at a awkward angle and absolutely nothing around me to grab hold of to drag myself out except a tiny sapling. The snow is too fine and powdery to offer enough leverage to hoist myself up with my hands, and any amount of wiggling just let the snow filter in and pack tighter around my leg... like quicksand. I was stuck good and looking rather stupid wiggling and humping around trying to extricate myself, I'm sure. I wasn't in any serious danger (and a tad embarassed), so I didn't want to yell (to be heard over the cahinsaw) for G-man to come help me because he'd come running thinking I was dying... and possibly get caught in a drift as well!

I just sprawled there for a second and collected my thoughts. I tried wading slowly forward... nope, that didn't work. I tried leaning backward to try to scoot out on my butt... nope, that didn't work. I tried hefting myself out using the sapling... nope, that didn't work and succeeded in killing an innocent baby tree. So, I sprawled there some more and figured that maybe quicksand was a good enough analogy and maybe I could get out of this snow drift the same way you'd get out of quicksand... leaning forward and slowly swim your way out.  So that's what I did, gently leaning forward so I wouldn't sink too much, and sort of breast-stroking in slow motion until I could feel solid ground beneath me again. Whew! Crisis avoided :D

I'm sure I looked right hilarious stuck in that little snow bank. Thank goodness it wasn't deeper. But I learned my lesson... no trudging through the snow without a stout walking stick anymore!! If I don't find the hole before I step into it, at least the stick can give me leverage to get my skinny butt back out.  Who knew walking in your own "back yard" could be so treacherous LOL!


Anonymous said...

Wow, Plickety Cat, that was scary. I admire your coolness "under fire". In your situation, I'd have been yelling like mad for the g-man without thinking it through. My hat's off to you for working it through logically. Something that's hard to do when your adrenalin's pumping!

Anonymous said...

I am glad you are OK!

- Septimus