Posts Tagged ‘snow’

Just kidding. You’d think that, if you only listened to Portland-area newscasters. Yes, the city is pretty much shut down. Yes, there are people still going out there and attempting to drive without traction devices. Yes, the entire trucking community is at a standstill because of a few who didn’t chain up.

And, yes, I made the call to close the office today and take a snow day. My job is a “non-essential” position and there’s no reason to go out, and chain up to drive three miles to sit in an office that noone is going to come to. Instead, I laced up my snow boots and grabbed my camera, and took a ton of fun photos to commemorate The Great Snow Fall of 2017 (which isn’t nearly as deep as other snow falls we’ve had at this address, but because it fell on January 11, sets a new record). For the date.

We had 12 inches one snowfall somewhere in the realm of 8-10 years ago. 18″ in February of 1996. Today, we got 6″. (Portland got more.)

If I wasn’t battling bronchitis, I’d wish I still had my x-c skis. As it was, it nearly kilt me to shovel the front walk & clear off my car (hubby did the back and cleared off several bushes as well).

Anyway – here’s my gallery of fun (often photo-shopped) snow pictures. I love snow. I’d probably hate it if I still lived in snow country, where it’s as common as fleas are in this country.

Happy January!!

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Winter Driving

We have about four inches of snow in the yard, maybe a little less. It’s still falling. I am used to this and it doesn’t faze me – in a world outside the one I live in currently.

I grew up in snow country. I learned to drive in the winter and  in a community that is 6500′ in elevation and c-c-cold in the winter. The only time we got a “snow day” was when 18″ of the stuff fell overnight and the rural buses couldn’t make it out to the ranches to pick up the ranch kids. We got one day off.

I once drove over a hundred miles from the Nevada border to Jordan Valley with chains on my car. I had to stop twice to pry off the loose links that started hitting the undercarriage of my vehicle. I delivered mail on a rural route in Baker City, Oregon, during the terrible winter of 1978-79, when water mains burst under the city after sustained days of -14 degrees at night.

I “get” snow.

I don’t “get” Portland snow. My first winter in Portland, Oregon, left me baffled at how a northern city could not cope with less than three inches of snow. I followed some car up a steep hill in less than two inches and swore at him as he SLOWED DOWN half way up the hill, forcing me to downshift. I barely made it to the top, myself.

In thirty years of driving in the snow here, I finally “get” it. I think I got it in the winter of 2008-09. Portland gets a different sort of snow than I grew up in, and it has a micro-climate of ice and micro-culture of drivers who have never lived in snow country. In the “big storm” of that winter (which dumped less than four inches on the metro area in less than two hours), it took me over six hours to drive 13 miles. I had, fortunately, taken my husband’s four by four to work that day or I would not have made it home. I would otherwise have been driving my car: a compact pick-up truck with a fiberglass body, rear wheel drive, and not enough weight in the bed.

In the days following that storm, I made one drive in to work. It was a mere 13 mile drive that took me over an hour and a half to make. A coyote outran the traffic. I swore, on that day, that if I ever had to do it again – I would not.

I now work 23 miles from home, and the last ten miles include a couple hills. We have not had a significant snow event in four years. Until today.

My employer sent us home at noon, just an hour before the real gridlock set in. I made it home in a little over an hour. I spent the day photographing birds in the feeder and Harvey playing in the snow. The afternoon and evening wore on and the snow didn’t stop.

It’s not much snow, by snow country rules. If I lived in snow country, I’d be on the road at 7AM tomorrow. But I don’t.

And after 30 years of living here, this is the first time I have looked out the window and said, “No. I am *not* driving in to work tomorrow.” I have a 4×4 of my own now. I can drive in the stuff. But you know what?

It isn’t worth it. I was in two wrecks last year (neither one my fault) and while *I* can drive in it, a lot of people who will venture out tomorrow will not have the same skills I have. They will drive too fast, trusting in the fact that they are driving a 4×4. They will drive too fast in a full-size pick-up truck with no weight in the bed. They will drive 15 miles an hour on the freeway because they are terrified to be out on the snowy roads but lack the backbone to tell their employer that they cannot do it.

After 30 years of living in the north, in Portland, Oregon, I am declaring that I will *not* drive in the snow to go to work in the morning. It’s not worth it. The risk to my rig, to my blood pressure, and to my body is too much.

I am throwing in the towel. I will drive around town if need be, but I will *not* get out on the freeway system and attempt to go to work.

P.S. – there’s no public transit from my home to work that runs in a direct line. I won’t be taking mass transit, either. Not worth my time – or my dollar.

I can’t believe I am officially throwing in the towel, but there you have it. We get a different kind of snow here, and I am not willing to do it again. I understand the whole Atlanta shut down in a whole different way.


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