Our first snow of the season fell on Sunday morn -- about an inch or so -- but yesterday and last night brought our first real heavy, wet dumping. It's winter! I've shoveled off front and back steps this morn, and like I say -- a heavy, wet dump (fecal implications intended, despite the blissful virgin white of it all).
Fortunately, both Marj and I had our snow tires installed the day before: the Sunday snow was all the signal I needed. My drive to the Center for Cartoon Studies yesterday afternoon was the first winter drive of the season, and it was peppered with lots of vehicles off the road and one near-death experience as a crazed tractor-trailor truck towing two full loads behind sped by me, splattering so much white shit onto my windshield that I simply could not see anything for about a full minute. That's a looooooooooooong sixty seconds, especially when you have no idea what might be in front of you or bearing in toward you from the passing lane (the guy was weaving that second load a fair bit).
Surviving that encounter, about five miles later I watched as a bottled water van that had whizzed past me executed an impressive pair of complete 360-degree spins between three cars that he was attempting to pass. It was an impressive breath-stopping moment, as he spun between car #2 and #3 first, at one point completely turned around and facing car #3 before the spin continued, pulling him out of the lane and pirhouetting back into the passing lane. He then executed his second perfect 360 between cars #1 and #2, somehow executing the same manuever -- facing the front of car #2 this time -- before continuing his spin out of the line of traffic and settling, with neat precision, onto the breakdown lane without a single one of the three cars he wove between apparently losing their cool. Of course, multiple drivers/passengers may have shit their pants in the meantime, but I wasn't privvy to any odors in the driving snow and ice; it was an impressive dance move, though, and luckily there was no collision and no one was hurt.
There were multiple cars and at least two trucks completely off the road, including a pickup towing a massive trailer. All in all, the sudden toll of no snow tires + snow/slush/freezing rain = unwelcome carny rides and a few off-the-road slides for a number of folks. The ride home -- between 10-11:40 PM -- was less eventful: only two vehicles off the road, and no near-encounters with disaster.
Ah, winter has arrived.