Even if you aren’t, the roads are. Sidewalks, too.
You’ve likely noticed dozens of trucks spreading salt over the last 24 hours or so, but did you ever wonder why? In a way, it’s a two-pronged assault on icy conditions. The main reason to spread salt over potentially icy areas is because the salt lowers the freezing point of water, making it more difficult for icy patches to form. There’s also a secondary benefit: salt can provide a little traction in slick spots.
Could you take a salt shaker outside and do the same thing? Sure, you could … but it would be very time-consuming and, once some moisture hit that shaker, rather frustrating. The salt used on roads, sidewalks & walkways is treated with a number of chemical additives to keep it from caking.
Before the days of motor vehicles, there was no need to clear roads since most travel required horse-drawn sleds; in fact, a snow cover made for a more comfortable and smooth ride than the usual dirt roads. By the 1920′s, however, both plows and gritting vehicles (early salt trucks) came into widespread use with the popularization of the motor vehicle.
Looking to provide a little traction of your own? Check out or Machinery & Tools section for salt spreaders.
We don’t know about you, but we’re getting ready to batten down the hatches for a storm that may turn out to be quite a blizzard. Even if it isn’t a full-blown nor’easter, we’re still in store for a little of the white stuff within the next 48 hours. It goes without saying, we suppose, that we’re thinking snow. Because we love strange little details, we wanted to dig up some cool (see what we did there?) snow facts:
- The largest recorded snowflake was 15″ across and 8″ thick – wow!
- The patent for the first snow shovel (one that both scooped & scraped) was granted in 1889 to Lydia Fairweather
- Chionophobia is the fear of snow
- Snowflakes fall at 5.5 feet per second
- The Victorian Era was a period with serious air pollution. Because of this, the snow that fell was often dark gray
- The U.S. averages about 105 snowstorms each winter
No bones about it – it’s been cold. Freezing, even. You might not love winter weather, but we’re doing our very best to help change your mind. After all, January is Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month. So put on that winter jacket and let’s get you out on the snow!
If you happened to catch this morning’s broadcast of Paper Shop Live! you got a chance to win some gift certificates for Snö Mountain. We’re also giving away a blizzard of lift tickets over the next week. They’re easy to win: you’ll be automatically entered either by reporting a sale or by liking us on Facebook. Or you could double your chances and do both!
Whether you’re a seasoned skier or someone who’s not yet tackled the bunny slope, we’re partnering with Snö Mountain to get you on the slopes.
Ah. Winter in NE PA.
If you’re a fan of the white stuff, this seems to be your year! Even if you’re not, you can always embrace the unavoidable and check out some winter sports. Maybe it’s time to learn how to cross-country ski. Or perhaps resolve that 2013′s the year that you finally tackle snowboarding. After all, we’re surrounded by some of the most picturesque and exciting ski resorts in the Northeast – put ‘em to use! (Check out what’s up in the Poconos for Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month or even learn to snowshoe for free)
We offer a surprising amount of winter sports gear in our pages and on our website. From winter sports gloves to cheap skis for beginners, snowboards to ski pants, we’ll get you all set. Check out our Sports Equipment category (and even the Under $25 category) and see what’s around to make Old Man Winter just a little less disagreeable.