October 21, 2007

Learning Winter All Over Again

After repeated experiences with National Weather Service snow predictions, you would think I would have learned to be more cautious.

After the big January 2005 snowfall that was under-predicted and caught us flat-footed with all our vehicles up at the house, 200 yards from the county road, and three feet of snow on the ground, M. and I made a new rule: If there are a dozen flakes in the air, move at least one Jeep down to the end of the driveway. That way, if a lot of snow falls, all we have to do is dig through the ridge piled up by the snowplow.

But, oh no, it's only mid-October, and they are predicting "2 to 4 inches" with a high in the mid-forties Fahrenheit.

At 2:30 in the afternoon, the temperature is still below freezing, and I measured 10.5 inches on the back deck.

I had come home last evening from duck-hunting in the San Luis Valley (more about that later) and left the little trailer hitched up in the driveway, because the prediction was for "2 to 4 inches," and, I figured, the ground was warm and it would not stick.

I wake up to snow pouring down and the electric power going off and on. (Heavy, wet snow weighting the wires and tree limbs.) When the power came back, I quickly aired up the little tires on the portable generator in case I had drag it outside and start it running.

"We'll need the generator tonight," M. had said earlier as we lay in the bedroom, lit only by silvery reflected snow light. "Desperate Housewives is on."

But then the electricity came back. I shoveled around the trailer, unhitched it, and pushed it out of the way. Then I put its tow vehicle, the Jeep Liberty, into 4-Low, turned it around and blasted down to the end of the driveway. M. filled water jugs—no power means no pump.

So now we are reminded what winter is all about.

UPDATE: The power did go out again just before dark, and so we were on generator power until around 8:30 p.m. when the San Isabel Electric linemen showed up. Apparently they had a busy day.

No comments: