Friday, October 30, 2009

The Long and Winding (icy, muddy, snowy) Road

There's an old joke that says behind every successful rancher is a wife with a town job. That would be me. Our ranch is 55 miles from the town in question. The first three miles is my driveway. The next nine are gravel county road. Then I finally get to a highway. But since Highway 207 ends at a border crossing that is only open from 9am to 6pm in the winter, it is essentially a dead end road during my morning and evening commute. It's me and the school bus out there most days.

Needless to say, the drive can be a bit of a challenge when we get snow, or even lots of rain. And since our ranch is higher in altitude and much closer to the mountains than town, conditions can vary dramatically from one end of my commute to the other. It's not unusual to get a foot of snow at our house while my co-workers get only a light dusting.

So I thought I'd invite you all to ride along on the drive home:

Yeah, the guy who cleans the parking lot LOVES my gravel roads.

This highway was clear, except for some slow moving traffic. (Or slow moo-ving, as one of my readers pointed out)

Getting closer to home, snow on the gravel road.

This section of the driveway is a little tricky. Took me three tries to get through it on Wednesday morning.

The last quarter mile of the road is drifted deeper than my bumper, but the hayfield blew clear, so this is where we cut down through the ditch and go cross country.

And finally...home.


Susan at Stony River said...

Love that last stretch across the hayfield!

But 55 miles each way through winter snows and darkness...oh wow. I'm suddenly much happier as a housebound poor-as-poop storywriter LOL. Keep safe on those roads!

Anita said...

Pictures speak volumes. I'm trying to imagine living, what we call, out in the middle of nowhere.
Enjoyed the "ride."

Anonymous said...

wow. What a daily drive. I have two trips to Little Rock the last two days for various reasons (about 60 miles one way) and I bitched the whole time (the gas! The expense! The time!) I can't imagine doing that every day! But thanks for the pictures. I've got a chill just looking at the snow.

Anonymous said...

You ARE one intrepid Cowgirl! What a commute! Your pictures remind me of where I grew up in eastern Montana!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Wow. I haven't seen much snow in my life, so that's pretty amazing to me!

Juliet said...

OK, I may have lived in town and was spared having to do a commute like yours but those pics really brought me HOME. I remember driving those empty, snowy roads, getting stuck and then being towed out by nice ranchers. More than once, I'm embarrased to say. Drive safely! Keep the pictures coming!

~The South Dakota Cowgirl~ said...

Thank you for that tour. I am glad I'm not alone. But I am glad I don't have a 3mile long driveway like you and some of the neighbors here do. I do have 9 miles of gravel before pavement though!