Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I see the snow level risin'
I see good day for a sleigh
I see no compromisin'
I see (gulp) flight delays

The cold has a bite
And the wind cuts like a knife
Snow is fallin' from the skies

And is it ever.  There's a reason this post is so late tonight, but we'll get to that later.

This morning I woke up and it was snowing.  Nothing bad.  After breakfast I went up for a classic ski.  Pulled into the parking lot, and there was a foot of fresh snow.  No grooming.  Nobody else had gone skiing.  A few thoughts crossed my mind as a cold wind blew up on my nether regions in the glorified porta-potty at the ski trails:  I leave for Nationals tomorrow, I won't be able to ski with good technique through this much fresh snow, my technique seems to just be coming around, sometimes they close the road up to the ski trails when it snows a lot.  So I just drove back down the mountain.  No use risking it for a trudge through that much fresh snow.  Not at this point in the season, anyways.

I packed my bags to leave for Rumford in the morning and drove down into the valley for a run.  My dad had a school board meeting tonight, so it all worked out quite well.  When we left for the run/meeting, it was snowing down to about 7000ft elevation.  My dad elected to drive the hybrid down, confident that we could make it back.  After all, snow tires work wonders.  After a great run, we left to come back.  It was snowing at 6000ft, in the bottom of the valley.  Even the snowplow seemed to be having a difficult time staying on the highway on the way home.

Let me tell you about the road to my parents' house.  The end of winter maintenance is 2 miles from the house, where the road turns off from the highway.  2 miles of dirt road that I have on occasion used for hill repeats during the summer.  Sometimes, if the road gets snowpacked, I've even done hill repeats on skis up the road.  All of the plowing is done by the people who live on the road.  My parents are in the 2nd to last house before the national forest.  Nobody was out plowing tonight.

When we started up the road, it wasn't bad.  Problem is, about half way up is when things get really stormy.  You can just count on one certain driveway being at or near the storm line.  With snow tires, hybrids can make it through a lot of roads.  But they can't make it up a hill with more snow than they have clearance.  In those conditions, they just push too much snow.  We had to back down to a neighbor's driveway and walk up most of the way.

No headlights.  Luckily, I was wearing muck boots.  Imagine insulated rain boots that go up to about your knee.  I was happy that I had them with me and perfectly fine carrying my running shoes.  But it's a blizzard out there.  "I hear hurricanes ablowing."  If you could get over the cold wind blowing small icicles into your face, it was a peaceful walk through the pitch dark.

So my dad is plowing the road as we speak.  When he thinks it's ready, we're going down to see if we can get the hybrid to the house.  The headwall right before the driveway might prove to be an issue.  I've checked on some internet mapping sights, and it's generally put at well over a 10% grade, so tonight will probably be one of the three or four times this year that the hybrid doesn't make it all the way to the house.

Leaving for Rumford long before the sun wakes from it's slumber tomorrow morning.  Hopefully I make it to the airport.  Hopefully there are no horrible flight delays.  Hopefully the fact that around 60,000 flights were delayed or canceled in the east a few days ago doesn't mess up my flight plans.

Yesterday's title is based on Mellow Yellow, by Donovan.

EDIT:  We got the hybrid to the headwall.  It took about an hour.  And it may only be 6,000 flights.  I forget where I saw the figure.

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