On Christmas night our family left Vickey’s parent’s place in Holladay in a pretty heavy snow storm. I thought we could make the 20 minute drive back home in 30-40 minutes, depending on how heavy the snow was on the freeway.
The trip took almost 90 minutes because the freeway was a mess and there was plenty of traffic.
As we drove east up the mountains on 500 South in Bountiful Vickey voiced her concern that the Honda Odyssey van wouldn’t make it up the hill. After all, she had experienced that several times while picking Eliana up from school in afternoon snow storms. I hadn’t experienced it and thought she needed a lesson in winter driving.
Until Christmas night.
We only made it three-quarters of the way up 500 South before the van would no longer go forward. It decided to just go sideways into the gutter and a foot of snow. I was annoyed, to say the least. I could not for the life of me, or all my winter driving experience, get the van to go forward.
Our family was in the van, the kids asleep, the dog in the back and we had our share of freshly unwrapped Christmas presents. And we couldn’t drive up the hill to get home!
After many efforts to just get up to the next street, I ended up turning around and parking in a dentist’s parking lot near the base of the hill on 500 South.
Luckily for us we have kind neighbors who sent a friend in a four-wheel drive Honda Pilot to pick me up. And we weren’t the only ones who were stuck. My friend’s friend ended up picking up two others from the same parking lot and driving them up the hill with me.
I got in our Toyota Tundra — a great four-wheel drive vehicle — and drove down the hill, picked up the family, put the dog in the back (yes it was still snowing; but there was no room in the cab with us and all our stuff), and headed up the hill.
We did fine until after passing Eliana’s elementary school we got behind a car that was having difficulty making it up the un-plowed road. We had to stop, which ended our momentum. I had to turn around again, do a u-turn in the school parking lot, then head up the hill.
Finally, we were home.
So why do I share this story?
Well, after this experience and then talking with my sister in Vermont on New Year’s Day, I decided we had to get snow tires on our van.
Angie, my sister, told me that most of her friends drove mini-vans and they did fine as long as they had snow tires on them.
The next day I was at Big O Tires in Bountiful getting Arctic Claw tires installed on the van. They recommended those tires for my vehicle and took care of me within an hour or so. They did a great job!
That very night we were out to dinner with my parents and brother and his family and came out of the restaurant to a snow storm just like the one we drove home in on Christmas night.
After testing the new snow tires in very similar circumstances to what we experienced on Christmas night, I have to say I’m very impressed. The Odyssey made it all the way to our home without the tires ever slipping on the road.
Thanks to Big O and Arctic Claw tires. And thanks to Angie who provided the personal witness to the value of snow tires.