Friday, March 6, 2009

Stori: more of the white stuff

I think most folks figure that just because Alaska is cold, that we also get insane amounts of snow. Not true for most of the state. Down along the coast, they get unbelievable snowfall, but in the interior, not nearly as much as you would think. The big difference about our snow is that once it's here, it doesn't go away till breakup in the Spring. In the lower 48, snow comes then melts away, comes again, melts. Here, it comes, it stays, it annoys. These last couple weeks are trying to change the normal. We have had more snowfall than most years, and especially this last week. In the last 2 days, we have gotten about 8 inches dumped on us.

Another pattern we are breaking out of is our normal lack of wind. The wind hardly ever blows. In April, we'll have two weeks of some blowing, but that's a good thing since it dries up the mud. In the winter, if the wind blows, that means it's a Chinook, and that's even better! A Chinook is a warm southerly wind that has the ability to raise the temps 40 to 50 degrees in less than an hour. Once the downpour of snow stopped yesterday evening, the wind kicked up. This was no small cold breeze, or a friendly warm Chinook, this was northwestern Colorado winter wind. It was hard, it was fast, it came in every direction. This wind came along and gave us the gift of snow drifts over 4 foot deep.

All of this rude weather this week caused nothing but more work for my family. My dad had double duty with the farm chores. With 3 sows in the farrowing connex he had to dig out a couple times a day, to unloading loads of snow off of his hay tarp to feed the cows. It did nothing to make his duties easier. The snow doubles the drive time for my Mom to get back and forth to work. Our road was so snowed in that on Thursday, Paige's school bus went off the road and got stuck for over an hour. My brother had to go pick up the kids on a snow machine. The fierce wind has caused drifts to fill up our porches to the point we have to sweep and/or shovel a couple times an hour so we can open our doors without filling the house with snow. It also caused hours and hours of plowing my husband. Marc is the plow guy. We have a winch driven plow hooked up to one of our 4-wheelers that he uses to dig us out after a storm. He clears all the driveways, both at our house and up to my folks' place. He clears out the walking path between the houses and barn, and also cleans up around the yards and barns. He has had to be on the plow every day this week just trying to keep up with the storm. Today I was watching him trying to clear out the walking path between our house and the barn when I noticed that the snow was deeper the height of his 4 wheeler in some areas. All in all, Marc spent over 7 hours today alone just trying to plow us all out. He didn't even get to finish my folks' yard before it got too dark to see. He even worn a hole threw his wool gloves that my Mom knitted him, just working the winch lever. Now this is the picture of Alaska that I'm sure most people have.

1 comment:

  1. I just wanted to let you both know that I love your blog! I find the conversation fascinating and can’t wait to see what more you have to share with us! Thank you.