The drive home was slow, but uneventful. atara managed to take a few less-travelled roads to avoid a few traffic disasters along the way, but even so it was we got home considerably later than normal.
While I was in favour or leaving the snow until tomorrow because it is supposed to snow overnight, atara was adamant that we should shovel tonight so that we'd have less to deal with tomorrow. She also pointed out that this was a good opportunity for me to fire up the snow blower that I have not run in a couple of years. I was a little dubious about my odds of actually starting it, as it had sat for so long that the gas in it had evaporated entirely, leaving behind residue. I had added fresh gas to it the weekend before last with the intention of starting it then, but I slopped so much over the engine and exhaust manifold that I was reluctant to fire it up until it had a chance to dry.
And then I never got back to it.
The first thing I did this evening was remove the cover and ensure that the spark plug wire was secure. In past, that has often been the catalyst that it took to get it to start. I hooked up the extension cord to its electric start, primed it a couple of times and then cranked it over again and again and again. I removed the cover again and pulled the spark plug so that I could give it a good cleaning. The plug was actually in pretty good shape, but I cleaned it anyway. While I had the cover open, I took atara's advice and set the choke to full. I did not think that it would need that since it was not very cold this evening, but it couldn't hurt.
I primed it a couple more times and then cranked it over to no effect. Since there seemed little else to try at this point, I primed it a couple more times. As I was doing that, atara mentioned that she remembered it sounding a bit different when I had primed it on previous occasions. I pressed the priming bulb a few more times - in spite of its warning to give it "one or two" presses - until I heard the distinct gurgle of a liquid flowing.
"Great," I thought, "I've flooded it." I had warned her that it would probably give a pretty good backfire when it started. Rather, if it started. I also told her that I did not expect it to start on this attempt.
I hit the start button, it turned over a couple of times and then went off like a small bomb detonating in our garage, complete with a fireball out the exhaust pipe.
But it started, even if it darned near took a year off of atara's life when it did.