CC Outtake: Hiss, Boo! Or Maybe Some Salt Might Be Welcome Just About Now, For The Roads As Well As My Self-Inflicted Wounds

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Salt may be a no-no on our public streets and highways, but that doesn’t mean businesses can’t get their lots cleared of the snow and ice we’re still driving on. I found this privateer salter in front of Lowes, where I was getting two garden faucets that turned into geysers after the ice that broke them melted in yesterday’s sun. It’s been a full week since the snow storm hit, and the streets are still hard-packed snow and ice, which is a very slippery surface, as I found out the hard way.

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Here’s the view down my street, as of a couple of hours ago. Not a big deal, as it’s fairly quiet. Except when school is open, as there’s one just down the block the other way. Little chance of that; school’s been out every day this week so far, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is again tomorrow. The streets in the hills are still hardly passable without chains or good snow tires, which most folks just don’t have.

Oh right; the reason it’s still there. Turns out that the City of Eugene snow plows have rubber lips at the bottom, “to protect our streets and utility accesses”. Which means they might work somewhat adequately in a very wet snow, but this one was dry, and got packed into a slick hard layer very quickly. The snow plows are useless on this; they just surf the top. The result has been over 500 fender benders; count me in as one of them.

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True confessions: I had a wee little utterly unnecessary accident with the Forester on this very slippery packed snow/ice. But I have no one to blame, except myself, as I got just a wee bit overconfident after keeping myself under control on several necessary errand runs…keep it slow..keep it slow... Which I did, until I was just a few blocks from getting back home. Turning into a street, I gave it too much gas with my big clunky Sorels on, and once it started sliding sideways there was no stopping, until a very large protruding bumper (undamaged) ended it. Embarrassing…once again.

What’s not noticeable in the picture is the large amounts of negative camber, as the top of the tire took the major brunt. Fortunately, it was just a bent strut; it needed some new rear struts anyway…and the dents will live for now. The plan has been to drive it 15 years, and then get a new car (Subaru XV Crosstrack). The Forester’s piston slap is starting to interfere with the knock sensor, and it’s using coolant, which undoubtedly is a head gasket finally going. We had been spared that so far…So it may not make it to 15.

Subaru Crosstrek XV

Stephanie’s already picked out the color she wants, so at least that spares me having to Plasti-Dip the Forester in orange this spring!