Rick's Journal

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Valentine's Day Blizzard

or How My Week's Plans Changed from Meetings to Digging and Shoveling and Moving Snow

I guess you can't call it a blizzard, really, because technically, a blizzard is a complete white-out, where you cannot see anything except snow, and you have trouble knowing which way is up. We didn't have that in this storm, although it was close, especially as it got dark. However, I wouldn't call this snowstorm 'weak' in any way either! It managed to drop over three and a half feet of snow in one day and caused me and the rest of our community here at Hawk Circle a lot of hard, physical work just to dig out and reopen our road the the outside world.

We woke on Wednesday to about ten inches of fresh powder snow, on top of the foot of powder we already had. It was still snowing hard and it continued all day, and into the evening, when it finally subsided. By that time, we had spent about five or six hours plowing the snow into deep banks on the side of the road, shoveled our paths out of the houses to the woodsheds and roads countless times, trying to keep up with the storm. In the end, we slept and waited for the storm to move on.

On Thursday, Barry Keegan, our awesome Head Instructor, hiked in on snowshoes to see how we were all doing. We began to plow again, and dig and shovel, and probably made it halfway out of the driveway with Sean, myself and Barry alternating and digging out the truck when it got stuck. We would ram the snow into piles and then try to move those piles further off of the road, and every once in a while we would get stuck, the friction of the snow around, under, on top and alongside the truck just too much for the tires to pull us free. Then the digging started, and we would get out, and then start all over again. Progress was measured in feet, and each push brought us a few inches closer to our goal: Route 166!

All in all, we were in good spirits, although we were tired, sore and ready to be out by Friday! We almost ran out of gas, so we had to hike out to the road with gas cans in a sled, by snowshoe, and hike back with full cans so we could keep on plowing and pushing.

We felt free and excited to be out when we finally met Ken Haggerty coming in along the last stretch, and after a few more hours of clean up and scraping, we were done. We laughed at how much snow this storm brought us, and how glad we were that it wasn't rain and floods, and also at how beautiful the land was all covered in fresh powder.

I wanted to get these pictures up just to show you that we survived this massive storm and that we did well, and that it was amazing and awesome and also very tiring! I am still recovering from the full body workout, but it felt good too, to be so fully focused and work so hard. Kind of like doing a summer camp or school group program!

I will write more soon, but just look at the amazing depth of this snowfall and come visit if you have a chance! We would love to see you and take you out skiing or sledding or whatever!

This sure makes my last post seem a bit off, doesn't it? Irony. Well, we got plenty of that around here to go around. Help yourself to a plateful!