Thursday night Olya and I decided to take the kids for a walk in her neighborhood around 8pm. The temperature hit 50 during the day and was still hovering around 45 when we left. So we did the “small” loop, that takes about 15 minutes and consists entirely of walking in the road on non-busy streets that have no sidewalks anyway. Then we decided that we were game for a longer walk, so we headed for the “long” loop, consisting of sidewalks on some busy and some not so busy streets and takes about an hour. Three kids, two strollers. By the time we started the long loop, Sergey was sound asleep, Alex was looking very dopey, and Damien was starting to settle down. So off we went.
So after about 5 minutes, we hit a couple of puddles, but discovered that if we stayed to the right, we missed most of the water. Walked rather uneventfully for about the next 20 minutes. We turned left and headed down a usually deserted road running past a nursing home and a medical complex. In between the two buildings we hit a stretch of sidewalk about 100 feet long that was not shoveled the last time it snowed. There was no way to get to the road because of the 3 foot snowbanks. Since the puddles thus far weren’t too bad, we plunged forth. Big mistake. The puddle was no deeper than half-way up my shoes, but unfortunately there were many ice chunks floating around getting in the way. Olya, with her 40 pound double-stroller, a 28 pound child, and a 22 pound child, was not having too much trouble. I, on the other hand, with my 10 pound stroller and my 24 pound child, kept getting stuck. The stroller kept pulling to the left into the deeper water. We were laughing uncontrollably by the time we emerged from the other side. My shoes are water-resistant, but definitely not water proof. Left sock was completely soaked. Right one, remarkably, was only slightly damp on the left side.
So at this point there is no way we’re going back, and we’re hovering around the half-way point anyway, so we kept going forward. About 20 minutes later we were walking along and suddenly the sidewalk ended. Now, usually this sidewalk doesn’t end, but that day the snow suddenly covered it up. So we ended up walking in the road, on the side of incoming traffic so we can see cars coming. Usually we see no cars all the way to the next intersection. That night we saw six. Since it’s dark, we were keeping a close eye on traffic to make sure they saw us and moved over. One car didn’t seem to see us, so we started scrambling to try and get the strollers onto the curb, in the snow. I slipped and landed on my butt in the snow. Fortunately, about that point, the car finally moved over to give us more room. It was a little scary at that point, but worked out OK. Fortunately we were only about a 5 minute walk from the next intersection when we ran out of sidewalk. And we were only 10 minutes from home.
Moral of the story: Never go walking in the spring until ALL of the snow is completely melted and the puddles are gone.