Well winter finally arrived, it's about time! I know that for those of you in the high mountains you've been getting snow for awhile, but for the rest of us this last storm was pretty much the first. Up untill the weekend before Christmas I was still out flying my R/C airplanes! This storm got me thinking again though about 72 hour bags and how vital they are, but it also brought up something that saved my life in a blizzard 2 years ago. Remember back 2 years when in the spring (for those of us on the eastern slope) we had a series of 5 major storms one week after the other. At the beginning of the first storm we decided to call it a day and head home before the "predicted" storm got worse (it didn't but you'd expect that too from NOAA) On my way home the blowing snow from the pine trees was the most dense I'd ever seen, I literaly could not see the hood, only the wipers on the windshield. I was going maybe 5-10 mph and remember seeing 2 cars come up the two lane mountain road, just then another high wind blew the snow and once again I couldn't see! I remember thinking "gentle left or straight?" Just as I thought straight my right front wheel dipped off the road and down my beautiful lifted Chilli Pepper red Cherokee went, first on the right side, then with a big thump the top smashed in front of my head and glass was smashing around me. I still had no idea which way was up because of the blowing snow, untill I realised water from the creek I was in was now running through the Jeep's headliner and out the windows. My first thought was to reach up and find the ignition switch, the engine was strangly still running while upside down. Here's where things got interesting, I reached for the seatbelt buckle, did you know that around 90% of vehicles on the road will not release the seatbelts if they are under tension? Try as I might the buckle held me prisoner, I thought I smelled gas and knew I had to get out! The knife in the glove box was no use, as the contents had gone up into the dash and the door would not open. The center consol had barfed it's contents into the roof which was now running ice cold water. I reached for my Victorinox multitool and opened the first thing my numb fingers could open, the saw! It went through the seatbelt (won't need that anymore I thought) and I was free! Ok so here's the moral, how many of you have a tool within easy reach in ALL of your vehicles in case you have to cut the belts or break the glass? GET THEM NOW!
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