December 3, 2005
Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column planning to set booby traps for the snowplows.See, we walked out the door of our employee housing complex (you know, that luxurious mountain chalet built into the back of Buffalo Mountain) this morning and couldn’t find our car. We walked around for awhile, jumping from snow drift to snow drift as the fluffy white stuff collected on our socks, lying in wait, biding time until we got someplace warm, where it would melt and make our feet cold until lunch.Finally we jumped into what we thought was another drift and kicked something metal. There was the car! How did it get buried? Well it didn’t take long to find out, because just as we were reaching under the seat to retrieve the ice scraper and begin that wonderful daily process of pulling a back muscle or two, we heard a rumbling and whirled around just in time to see the neighborhood snowplow approaching.We had the presence of mind to dive into the car and pull the door shut just as the lumbering machine rolled by, shoving all the snow from the roadway into the parking spaces on either side – and almost burying the car again, this time with us inside.After forcing our way back out of the car, we shoveled all the snow out from around the car and pulled a different back muscle than we’d pulled scraping the windshield earlier this week.See, the problem is that snowplows care only about that strip of pavement immediately in front of their plow. If there are cars on either side that will be buried – lost forever in the endless powder – that’s frankly not high on the plow’s priority list. There could be a group of small children playing near the road and they would get swallowed up in a tsunami of snow just as quickly as a line of decorative hedges outside a condominium complex. That’s why many plows come equipped with those blue and yellow blinking lights. They’re not beacons of hope, calling to those struggling along on icy roads that help is coming – oh, no. Those lights are warning lights. Those lights say, “Do you want to be a snowman? Right this way, sucker!”Anyway, as we drove down to headquarters, the heater kicked on, melting the snow clinging to our socks and ensuring a bad mood until at least lunchtime. Well, it wasn’t the snow’s fault. It was the snowplow’s fault, and boy is it gonna pay. If you have any ideas for good booby traps, give us a shout at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13600. Until then, we out … or in, rather. In the bathroom, holding our cold, wet socks under the automatic dryer and cursing snowplows.