After my Vermont Winter Wonderland Photography Workshop today I took three stragglers over to one of my favorites places so we could photograph a couple of red barns. Last weekend’s nearly two foot snowfall combined with Thursday’s heavy rain followed by deep freezing temperatures made many places pure ice. The driveway by the barns was all ice at least four inches thick.
We had a tough time walking on it, luckily nobody fell but we slipped and slid. I watched my buddy Ron slide about six feet after taking a step. While we were there we had a beautiful snowfall that totaled about three inches, which put an additional layer of slick on the ice already there. As I was leaving I pulled into a turnaround, which happened to be where I saw Ron slide. I didn’t think the very slight elevation drop would be a problem but it was. My Sprinter’s tires spun immediately and it wasn’t about to go up the small grade. This was my first time with the Sprinter in snow and ice and I knew it might get challenged so I had purchased some grippers to put on the rear tires. They are similar to chains but easier to put on yet not as effective. You have to be able to drive onto chains so they are worthless if you are already stuck.
After putting on the grippers the Sprinter made it about eight feet before losing traction. I tried everything but it wasn’t going to move up that last little incline. I saw a neighbor shoveling her driveway so I walked over to see if she had any sand or salt. She didn’t and we weren’t close to any other buildings.
I had two options: call an expensive tow truck and see how long it took to arrive or phone a friend. A couple of weeks ago I ran into friend and photographer Lisa Lacasse and her husband Ken at the hardware buying some sand for their driveway. They live about a mile from where I was stuck so I called them.
Ken is a great golfer and I know he enjoys nothing more than relaxing on a Sunday afternoon and watching a golf tournament on TV. It was now after 4:00 p.m. and that is when most tournaments get exciting. I got Ken on the phone and told him about my predicament and asked if he still had any of that sand left. I felt bad, I could tell leaving his warm easy chair, missing the good part of the tournament and coming out in the cold was about the last thing he wanted to do, but he did.
Ken arrived with the sand he had left, we spread it under the wheels and created a little path on the ice. I got farther but started spinning again when I got past the sanded area. We scraped up what sand we could, spread it out again, piled the four guys into the back of the van for some extra weight over the wheels and after some verbal encouragement made it back up on level ground.
I’ve always known that there are good people in this world who will do anything for you without any consideration for themselves. Ken Lacasse is one of those people. It would have been plenty easy for him to come up with an excuse to stay in his warm home and I wouldn’t have blamed him. But that isn’t who Ken and for that I am extremely grateful.
Thanks Ken for being one of the good guys. I owe you.