I was laughing so long at Emily’s hill yesterday, I did not explain it well.
There are a great many hills like that hill in northeastern Ohio. You drive down one side and up the other. Except when it’s snowing heavily and you’re in front of the plow truck, not behind. In that case vehicles can lose traction and wander the road, including slipping back down the hill. Cars descending can be in as much trouble; it all is a big mess with fender bender accidents and more. If it happens, expect to be out in the snow for a long time waiting for the traffic to clear or for a tow truck.
The easiest way to avoid dealing with this hill in a storm, until the road is cleared, is to stay home. In a storm, the only way to be in trouble going up that hill is to have come down the other side first. Roads were clear yesterday, no snow, and the drive up as easy as down. Oh, well. Emily is 17 and does not drive. She thinks a lot, though.
When I worked in an office, long ago, it was not unusual to be caught in bad winter weather during the day and obliged to get home. I worked in University Circle in Cleveland and lived in Lake County. It was a half hour drive on the freeway; much longer straight out Euclid Avenue, the alternative in bad weather.
One day we had inches and inches of snow. The radio said the freeway was at a standstill and drivers could no longer get on. Euclid Avenue was at a crawl. I did pick up a woman shivering at a bus stop, waiting for a bus that might never come. I drove her a mile down Euclid, to her street. It took a couple of hours. I decided to cut off to another route that went down into the Chagrin River Valley and back up. There was one bad hill, but I knew my VW was up to it.
When I looked down the hill folks seemed to be doing OK, so I committed. The one hitch in the plan was the cross road at the bottom and drivers attempting to turn from it to go up the hill. They did not have the momentum of the cars coming downhill. Sure enough, as I approached the uphill side, trouble began and cars were forming a jam at the bottom.
I took a good look, revved that little beetle, let out the clutch, jumped the curb of the center median and started up the hill. The median was grass in those days, covered in several inches of new snow, and clear of traffic. At the top of the hill I bumped down to the road and headed home. I remember picking up my girls from daycare at about eight; the staff was not happy and I did not care. It was a long day. That was 1969.