The Fiat Pop in the Northwoods: A Winter’s Tale – Part 1

When it comes to cars and other things involving agility, dexterity, or getting stuck on the roadside, I have low uncertainty tolerance. As a weak adventurer, I’ve been nervous about my adventuring companion, the Fiat Pop 500c, and how it will handle the snow. After as much research as possible about the car’s capabilities, I realized that my quest for certainty and comfort comes only in the doing and not the reading. Here on The Wall, aka Rhinelander, winter is fierce, and now it’s time for the first doing. We got more snow yesterday than Rhinelander gets on average every November.

Fortunately, as of last month, the Pop has “aggressive snow tires” – so named by the folks at the tire shop who sold them. Perfect tires for this week’s aggressive snow.  Last week, the Pop also got aggressive undercoating.  Some people on the internet say undercoating is a scam. Conversely, those who swear by undercoating suggest letting the dealer do the job, because the gunk can ruin an engine and other moving parts. People in town who say skip it usually follow with a shrug and disclaimer that they buy a new car every two or three years. Those in town who swear by it point out that Rhinelander requires heavy salting in the winter.

And so the proof is in the pictures.

1. My driveway a few days before the storm begins.

2. My driveway at the start of the storm before school was canceled.

3. My dirt road on the way to school.

4. I found a parking spot.

5. A steep walkway between buildings at school.

Driving in the snow was not the only daunting task. There is a steep hill that stands between my office building and classroom building, which has made me anxious all semester. I account four victories that day – to work, up that hill, down that hill, and home again. All ways in the snow.

For the record, the rock at the edge of the yard is named Mount Simon, after the previous owners’ dog. Mt. Simon is a hefty stone hauled to the property in chains by a crane of some sort. The owner saw a road crew excavating it, requested it, and they delivered it.

My driveway before the first snow - 11/6

My driveway before the first snow – 11/6

Driveway 11/10 - first real drive in the snow - no snowblower or snow plow

Driveway 11/01 – first real drive in the snow – no snowblower or snow plow

View of road from the Pop dash - 11/10

View of my road from the Pop dash – 11/10

At the school parking lot - 11/10

At the school parking lot – 11/10

The steep hill between the office building and the classroom building - 11/10

The steep hill between the office building and the classroom building – 11/10

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