Lint-Trap 2/12/01: Enough, already!


Enough, already!


Just a couple of days ago, I wrote:

"Ever since I moved up into the hills, I've wanted to be here when it was snowing. Growing up on the East Coast, I rather miss the drama of a winter snowstorm--school closings, laying in batteries and firewood, planning meals that can be made without opening the refrigerator if the power goes off."

Well, I got what I wished for, in spades. What is already being called the 'Blizzard of '01" blasted us Sun. night with 8 to 12 inches of snow, and put us into another world.

No power, of course.

The local school actually had a Snow Day, something I thought I had left behind forever when I moved out here. Highway 17 had chain restrictions, when the major roads in the Sierra Nevada didn't. Those of you from elsewhere may be amused that 8 to 12 inches of snow can cause such chaos. A bit of it is that, of course, most drivers aren't used to snow. But even an experienced driver (which I, ahem, would consider myself) can get screwed by California snow. When I got out here, I would have said "8 or 12 inches, ha!". And I have driven 250 miles from New Jersey to New Hampshire in such snowstorms. And it wasn't all that bad.

But there is one really big difference in California. All those earthquakes are a sign of very young geology, which means very steep hills. The average hill in California seems to be about 3X steeper than in the East. And when you are on a road covered with snow, that makes a huge difference.

So the local paper reported that two cars filled with teenagers came up to "see the snow", lost control of their cars about a mile from my house, and ended up 50 feet down a ravine. Nobody seriously hurt. But if that had happened in the East, it would have been a headline. Out here, it's just a sentence in an article about the snow. Apparently it happens once or twice every snowfall.

So on Mon., I just sat and took pictures, and broke open my latest box from Amazon and had a go at a couple of books. I decided to eat the stuff that would survive least well given that I had no power, so I breakfasted on a pint of Ice Cream. I don't recommend it. Then cooked up all the meat in the fridge--ate some, made the rest into spaghetti sauce.

By 3PM, there were some signs of life. There was some melting, and I decided to pack a bag and head for Diana's. There was little joy in sleeping all night in a house without electricity, and I was, frankly, more than a little bored. I set off, and almost slid off my driveway--it was really slippery. The road was clear of snow and was wet, but there were dozens of trees down. At least three were leaning over the road, held up by power lines. At one point, I saw a strange line in the road where I was driving, and suddenly realized it was a power line down in the road. It was real clear that the power problems were not going to be fixed quickly. I couldn't even get to route 17, since they were working on downed trees across the road, so I had to go down the 'back way' to Santa Cruz, and then go South about 40 miles to find a road over the mountains. Took me over 2 hours (usually a 30 minute trip).

The next day, the power came on about 6:30. I got home about 8--the house was 43 degrees inside. On my front lawn, a young couple and their 3-year-old were making a little snowman--it was so cute.

Needless to say, my ISDN line is still out and the voice line is barely functional, so updating will be sporadic. Also, there are some very upsetting things going on with Diana that I am dealing with, but don't have time to write about...

I'll post some pictures soon, though...

Thank you for reading.

Copyright © 2001 Pete Stevens. All rights reserved.