Weekly Photo Challenge: Red

This is where I was going....

…one lovely spring morning…and this is where I came from…

I’d left home no  more than fifteen minutes before, this late September morning and there were just a very few snow flakes drifting lazily in the breeze as I closed the gate behind me, not an uncommon occurence when it is snowing on the Mountain and normally nothing to really worry about…we’re aboput 50 metres below the snow line normally so don’t get much actual snow…

By the time I got to National Park, about 5 kilometres up the road there was a layer of solid but very slushy snow over the road…again normally not to much to worry about at the time of year…and, anyway I was able to follow behind a couple of large trucks that broke it all up…but by the time I got to Pokaka, where I stopped for these pictures, it was snowing quite heavily…hmmmm, what to do? To go back through the snow is as far as pushing through…let’s push on I thought, as the lesser option of the dilemma and certainly one preferable to parking up where I was and sitting it out which would have been an overnighter!!

So away I crawled through the snow at about 15 km an hour, managing to stay in the troughs the trucks ahead of me had left, even though they were filling quickly. I’d just entered the first curve of the ZS-bend between the Pokaka and Horopito Straights when I spun 90 degrees across the road…

So what, you may ask, does any of this have to do with this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge theme of ‘Red‘? Well, you see, I was driving Li’l Red who’s life was about to get interesting…


In spinning out, I had managed to stay in my own southbound lane albeit was 90 degrees across it – no worries I thought as it was unlikely that there was any traffic coming up behind me as the road gates at National Park would have already been closed…no sooner had I thought when this old guy comes toddling around the corner, heading north: he sees me (NOT blocking his lane!) and jams on his brakes…in the snow…the thick slippery snow…Of course he locks up and as Murphy would have it (no other way), slipped out of his lane into mine. All I could do was watch as he slid towards Li’l Red and braced for the impact.

How lucky can you be? Just before he struck, he got just a little traction crossing some of the truck tracks which slowed him just a little before he crunched into Li’l Red – fortunately just between the rear edge of the passenger door and the wheel well but jamming neither. I hopped out – in my so not practical office shoes and skated around make sure he was OK, and then to swap details. He’d had a bit of a fright and wanted to have a chat but all I wanted to do was get lined up again and head south before I became a resident…I suggested he might want to head south as well, not being in a  4WD or anything useful and noting the amount of snow that would have come down since I left National Park but no, he had to get to where he was going so away he toddled…

With some difficulty I manged to swing Li’l Red south and crawl south til the road cleared by the turn-off to ‘Kune although I took the discretion option and headed south via the Paraparas rather than display too much faith in the Council’s ability to keep the Waiouru road open…so that’s what white snow has to do with RED….

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