I have written a lot of posts about walking in the snow. It isn’t surprising since I have to walk to and from transportation links on both ends of my commute. I also don’t mind taking a stroll around town when I have a few moments.
What I haven’t done is write about driving in the snow. As I live in Canada, there really isn’t anything I can do about winter other than mitigate its effects by having snow tires and being cautious.
Putting all that aside, let me set the scene for you. When I looked outside the window and subconsciously preparing for the drive, I took note of the rain and wondered if I had an umbrella stashed in the car. Despite it being January, I discounted even the idea of snow. I started the car and wondered what music might come across my radio presets.
As soon as I was outside the garage, I knew something was different. The blacktop reflected the beams from my headlights, but the asphalt showed fine tracks in the thin white covering. The windshield showed it wasn’t rain falling at all.
There is something eerie about driving in the snow. Your wipers don’t need to move as much, but also don’t clear as much. The headlights catch things moving at different angles, and every now and then the car slides just a little. Unconsciously, you grip the steering wheel tighter. You listen to the radio less intently as your senses put more focus on the other ones. You feel the pedals, listening for a difference in rhythm. Your eyes peer out at the darkness looking for reference points. The wheel shakes in your palm warning you of the danger. Your mouth is just that little bit dryer.
It is both terrifying and exciting because at the same time, there is a kind of beauty in the drive. The white snow on the side of the road obscures the edges. The cold changes how you hear sounds. On the roads without streetlights, everything is ghostly. The driving rhythm is different. The distant lights call to you more strongly.