If Greta Thunberg is doing this, I’ll be very upset with her.

Alternate title: That Escalated Quickly…

I just had a very unpleasant trip to morning chicken chores. And this…

…wasn’t like this half an hour ago. And the outdoor temperature…

…was fourteen degrees warmer half an hour ago.

And my fingers have finally stopped hurting.

It started raining sometime in the wee hours and kept it up more-or-less steadily all morning. I left for chicken chores in rain gear and fingerless gloves at about eight. I took the Jeep because it was rain and wind and misery outdoors, and also because I had to deliver five gallons of water to the chickens. Fortunately I filled the jug and put it in the Jeep yesterday afternoon.

Got to the Big Chickenhouse without undue drama; ironically my biggest concern was watching for a flash flood while I was in the wash. Tended chickens, unloaded water, and there was a blast of cold and the rain turned abruptly to snow and then to a lot of snow.

Unfortunately the Jeep’s windshield wipers haven’t worked in years. It would have been a much more comfortable trip home if I’d had that shop in town see to that back in July. By the time I got down Landlady’s ridge, across the wash and up the steep hill on the next ridge I couldn’t see out. I stopped and cleaned off the windshield, found the turn-off to my road, and now the wind was hard on my left. Again with the stopping and cleaning, this time with snow filling the driver seat every time I opened the door, and the windshield almost covered again by the time I got back in and put it in gear. Covering half a mile I had to stop five times; my torso was warm enough but my fingers were past hurting and going numb. Finally made it to the driveway turn-off, which let the Jeep turn its back to the wind for a while so I could make some progress. Easy enough to get to Ian’s turnaround, with no problem except my fingers, and if I’d had a brain in my head I’d have abandoned the Jeep there and walked the rest of the way.

Between the turnaround and the cabin there’s a steep bit. Very steep, and I turned the Jeep’s nose into the wind when I got there and the windshield was instantly opaque again just as I was committed. By now the snow and mud had removed almost all traces of traction; it wasn’t quite as bad as black ice but getting there and I couldn’t say I’d have had perfect control of the Jeep even if I could see where I was. I was trying to slow the Jeep by keeping the wheels pressed into the sides of the ruts but stopping was out of the question and the Jeep was leaning at a very unfamiliar angle and I deeply regretted having a: not gotten out at the turnaround, and b: fallen out of the seatbelt habit. The whole thing probably took 20 seconds going on an hour, and when I was sure I was on the bottom I turned left and had to just sit there and catch my breath for a few moments before leaving the Jeep to see where I was in relation to the driveway.

The snow is still pouring down but the temperature appears to have stabilized. I’m staying in the rest of the day.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to If Greta Thunberg is doing this, I’ll be very upset with her.

  1. Oh Joel, my heart was pounding by the time I finished reading this! I’m so glad you made it home without major injuries.

  2. That sounds more like Colorado than Arizona. I’m glad you’re home intact!

  3. Zelda says:

    Bosch Snow Driver or Icon blades or ANCO jacketed blades or the jacketed winter blades made in Canada, once you get the wipers fixed and hopefully that will be very soon, are the best. I used the Canadian blades for decades but can’t find them where I live now, have to mail order. You reminded me that I need to try Rain-X, should have done it years ago and it might work for you too. They use it in Yellowstone on the snow coaches.
    Any clues why the wiper blades don’t work? Good source for recycled parts is B & R auto wrecking in Oregon. They have a string of salvage yards and almost any part you need.

  4. Joel says:

    Not a clue why they don’t work, no. But I’m guessing it’s something expensive.

  5. Mike says:

    Wipers are one of those often neglecting things that tend to bite you in the butt when you really need them. I’m glad that you made it home in one piece.

    I’m surprised that in your winter kit, aside from the normal tools, you wouldn’t have a few things like a toque, a pair of winter gloves/mittens something to munch on if your sugar gets low and maybe a heat source like a candle. That is a very unforgiving place you live in and those who have forgotten that have paid dearly.

  6. Zelda says:

    Try the Rain-X, even if the wipers don’t work it will help a little. Does the motor make any noise? Have you checked for a blown fuse? and/or a wire hanging down because the rats chewed it, and all you need is some electrical tape? Or do these wipers depend on someone inside the vehicle turning a little crank? Lubrication on the base of the blade arms or somewhere on the motor? That entire assembly isn’t that complicated, shouldn’t be that expensive to repair. Honest. What Mike said.

  7. Malatrope says:

    On the bright side, wiper assemblies in Jeeps are probably fairly easy to get to. I made the stupid mistake once of turning on my old Sentra’s wipers when they were frozen to the windshield and the crank ball joint popped apart. Simple, except that to get to it requires several days of taking the dashboard apart.

    Ditto what Mike said, above: watch out for unforgiving situations like that! Things can get ugly real fast, even on the interstate in full view of God and everybody. Glad you got back home okay.

  8. terrapod says:

    This what yours looks like? I forget what year your unit is. Junkyard unit is probably 30 bucks if I go pick it. Of course the weather is going to have to cooperate around these here parts for that.


To the stake with the heretic!