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Sat, Feb. 23
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Editorial: Park ego at home during snow storms

In the past week the greater Prescott area experienced "bad weather." We saw accidents galore, school sessions delayed (one closed for a day), and low temperatures near the single digits.

While it actually was our third or fourth snow of measurable white stuff, the ruler was not exactly buried. In fact, the depths were not drifts and precipitation was negligible.

I find it all interesting, to say the least.

Having grown up in Colorado, I know what it is to measure snowfall - one shovel at a time. Mine are memories of snow by the foot, not like the 1967 Prescott storm or the 7 feet in Colorado 10 or so years ago - but certainly the recent storms here pale in comparison to the powder and slush of my youth.

That also is the sentiment many people put forward in emails and article comments over the past few days.

"Two inches of snow is not 'bad weather,' if that was the case you could just close Colorado from November to March."

It's all relative. Prescott may not be in the desert, but at least this Arizona city has four seasons (unlike Lake Havasu City, where I met my wife - their seasons are 'hot' and 'damn hot').

The person who made the "not bad weather" comment above hit a homerun with a snowball, by adding that "the issue is, people going out in winter driving conditions, who are not prepared to drive in the snow. Folks with two-wheel-drive vehicles need to be extra careful about the conditions, even front-wheel-drive vehicles will struggle when the roads are snow packed and icy."

The first vehicle I owned was a small, two-wheel-drive truck. It went everywhere I wanted; in fact, I should have never sold it.

Since then I have had a number of trucks, the most recent being my first four-wheel-drive beast. I have gone places I never could have before.

What made the small truck better was it forced me to make smarter decisions. I'd add that it also made me a better driver. I knew my limitations. Even when it had only two-ply tires I did not get stuck.

That's because I knew when to stay home. I learned to pick my battles. And, most of all, I could motor along pushing snow with the bumper (with a bit of weight added over the wheel-wells) when big 4x4s had spun out. Why?

Maybe I was a better driver. Maybe I knew to go slow and not spin my tires. Or maybe I knew that a two-wheel-drive was just as good as a 4x4 when an equalizer called "ice" was present.

Now that I've thrown all that experience at you, sit back and ponder how Arizona drivers can be so horrible. Think about it.

- Tim Wiederaenders, city editor

Follow Tim Wiederaenders on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2032, twieds@prescottaz.com or 928-420-6472.

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