Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Phase One

The First Storm

Just a quick report for now. And yes, Charlotte, I did take some pictures. I'll post them later.

We had perhaps 8 inches of snow overnight. This was a very wet snow and kind of heavy...not too much fun to shovel. However, the blizzard is still on its way and some snow is starting to fall again even as I type.

I decided to go out and clear at least one side of the driveway for now, with the idea that if we do get another 18 inches, the tractor will have a shot of clearing only that instead of 26 inches or so. Years ago, when I had the truck with the plow, I would go out while it was still snowing and, like the road department, keep ahead of the snow, clearing the driveway before it got too deep to push. Since it stopped snowing for a couple hours this morning, I used that same concept.

But once again, people are driving by as is if there is no snow at all. Several big trucks came by as I was trying to clear the end of the drive at the road. They hardly slowed down at all. I hope the rest of the cars out there were headed home, or someplace they really needed to go because the storm is promising to be terrible here.

Blizzard conditions mean it is nearly impossible to see well enough to drive. I once went to church on a Sunday as a storm was kicking up. I had the truck with the plow on it, but had no idea what was coming our way. I went to the barn to take care of my horse--good boarding stable where I didn't HAVE to go, but I'd promised to plow the driveway for them. My plow had some problems, but I did manage to push some of the snow out of the way before the plow froze in place just a few inches off the ground. Enough clearance to drive home, at least.

I headed out. It was 15 miles of some of the worst driving conditions I have ever experienced. I was in four wheel drive and that was fine, but twice the snow blew so hard, I was in a complete whiteout and could not see the road at all. Visibility: absolute zero. Fortunately, I knew the roads so well, I managed to stay on them. My only little mishap was running into the guardrail on the Turnpike bridge with the plow when I got a little too far over to the side. Thankfully, I made it home safely.

I kept a heating pad on the plow all night long, drained the frozen fluid out the next morning, put fresh fluid in and got everything working. I headed out of the garage door, plowing my way forward, and got stopped by the HUGE pile of snow in front of the truck about 20 feet out. That meant that the eastside of the driveway was now impassable.

By plowing diagonally, I did manage to clear out the west side driveway loops around the house. Later that day, one of the big machines from the Operating Engineers dropped over and cleared out the first driveway side with one gigantic scoop of snow. Otherwise, I think I would have had to wait until spring to get out on that side.

My plan had been to plow at intervals all night during that storm, but the faulty plow thwarted me. I learned my lesson. If there is any way to keep the snow from building up too much, I'm in on it. So far, so good.

But I'm not sure what the next several hours are going to bring. It doesn't look good.

More later.


  1. Good luck! It's just raining here right now, but we're supposed to get snow later in the day. I think you guys are going to get the worst of this one, though.

    Glad you had fun on your trail ride! It sounds like you guys will be a good match.

  2. Sounds like so far you've got more snow than we do up here. But it seems to be really starting strong now. Good luck with the storm and clearing out, hope you don't have too much trouble getting around the farm.

  3. Sounds like you are getting what we had Monday and Tuesday. We got about 18 inches in total overr the 2 days. I barely made it home from work on Monday. It was very icey so I took it really slow (a 25 minute drive took about an hour and a half) and visibility was horrible. Then I got to my road and there were huge drifts. Managed to get through them and then called work to let them know that there was no way I was going to make it back out on Tuesday morning. As of now I am still stuck. Living on a gravel road the county doesn't think it is that important to plow us out. My driveways are all plowed out (had to do that 4 times because of the wind) but the actual roads have drifts in excess of 5 feet. I kind of like being snowed in but was going a little stir crazy yesterday and ended up ripping half the wallpaper off the office walls, literally. So once I eventually make it out I need to get some paint samples.

  4. It sounds horrendous to me. I hope everyone's power stays on. Good Luck.

  5. ooer... rather you than me!
    and on people driving, i think a lot of the time they don't believe the forecast...