Saturday, February 8, 2014

Sochi on the Willamette

Some years here: all winter without any snow
Most years here:  An inch or two overnight that is melted away by the next afternoon
Once every decade or so:  8 or 9" that lingers for a week or so
RIGHT NOW:  14" or so of snow with about 3/4" of  ice on top of it.

Tree decided it didn't want to keep playing the "Support the Ice" game and instead chose to take a nap on stepkid's Civic.  Not sure how bad the damage is.  Yet.

Here's your moron author thinking he could dig out enough to get the bald-tired sedan up the driveway.  Didn't happen.  A more youthful and vigorous man with a better shovel might have succeeded but I am neither youthful nor vigorous.  Plus my shovel sucks.  So I mostly blame the shovel.
Knowing that the ice storm was aheadin' our direction, I took off yesterday to go into town and stock up on candles, batteries, etc.  I scratched and clawed about halfway up our hill but just couldn't get the traction to crest it. So I decided to go down the hill and take the "long way" into town.  That was a good plan.  Too bad I didn't stick to the plan.  About a 1/4 mile from my place, your moron author instead gets the great idea: "hey, just turn around in the neighbor's driveway, and head back at the hill with a little bit of momentum!


We had punched out early at work, and I had very little trouble getting around [rainmanvoice]of course I'm an excellent driver[/rainmanvoice] in it only an hour or so earlier but this time I was bested.  Stuck in my neighbor's driveway.  I huffed and puffed my cold little feet up to their front door and told 'em what happened.  They didn't seem to concerned.  Certainly not concerned enough to offer to help or anything.  "Oh, no worries.  We won't be heading down that driveway anytime soon.  Good luck!"  So a couple passers-by with 4x4 trucks got me back on the main road.  I built as much speed as I thought I could handle, and made it up the hill.  Yay!

Further up, I had to face the decision of whether to take the gently sloping side road or try to make it up the steeper section to get to the state highway.  If the light was green, I'd be golden.  Red light, come to a stop?  Dunno if I could get moving again.  So I took the gently sloping side road.  There was a pickup spun out, blocking most of the road, and a pedestrian in the way.  Traction was scarce...  Barely making it up this gentle rise.  Must not lose momentum... I WILL STOP FOR NOTHING!!1!  Lay on the horn to spook the pedestrian off into the ditch, and keep on driving!  Woohoo! I get to to flat spot where this side road intersects the main highway.  And what to my wondering eyes should appear?  A chained-up ambulance getting crossed up and stuck in the intersection.  I needed to go left, but the ambalamps was in the way.  Screw it!  If we lose power, we have blankets.  We can sit in the dark and make pillow forts and curl up in our blankets 'til we die.  So I turned right, and went home empty-handed.

Which brings us to the picture above.  I was getting a little cabin fever today with the three grandbrats running amok.  (Yes, there are three here now) so I figured I'd try to liberate the car from the frozen funk.  If I could just.  get.  up.  the.  driveway, the roads were starting to clear.  I would have a few moments of white-knuckle-snowy-road-no-chains-bald-tires-I-don't need not steenkin' chains peace and quiet.  But no.  Could not get the car unstuck.  So I walked to the little country store about a mile away and helped push a stuck car back onto the road.  Good deed status: DONE. 

Remember that part up above where I mentioned the 3/4" ice layer on top of the snow?  I break right through it as I walk, but the dogs only break through on about half their steps, and go skating with their other feet.  It is hilarious.  Yes, I am snowed in and reduced to getting my tee-hees from watching my dog try to get into proper pooping posture only to have his feet slide out from under him.  Such is my life.


  1. I remember snow in Oregon... it was NEVER pretty, or, just like you described it. Stay warm!

  2. Yeah, that global warming thing is wicked! We've been going through much of the same. Sorry about the Civic!

  3. Anti global! And to be opposed to anti-global warming is racist because polar bears die or something.

    Nice action photo of you trying to scrape the ice off the car. Just one question: will Ben Affleck be playing you in the movie version?

  4. We finally had rain down here.
    There may have been dancing.

  5. I never get to have adventures like that.

  6. It's nice to see you back, Inno! We only had a foot of snow, but we still get some excitement when a "winter event" occurs: 'bout 5 blocks down the hill, there's a spot where the road does an S-curve, and without exception there'll be a few cars that fail to stay on the high side. The folks that live in the two homes on the downside each lose their mailboxes, and there's usually at least one car standing on its nose in the steep ditch - actually, there were 5 of 'em in the ditch, this time around.

    But the tow-pros yanked 'em outta there before the snow and ice started melting too much, so at least the ditch can handle the rain runoff now. And as usual, landslides and falling doug-firs are the issue at present. That's how it always goes: cold, then snow, then ice, then rain/wind, then minor flooding in some locations - landslides and stuff in others.

    But at least we have light rail!

    Oh yeah...that was shut down, too. But hey - a billion here, a billion there....

  7. I used to remember Oregon winters: the rain felt colder. Then summer came and the rain warmed up nicely.

    But since I am older than dirt, I actually recall as a 14-year old Eugene kid with a paper route (Oregonian), the winter of 1969-1970 had a snowfall of 39" in 24 hours. Beat that, Inno.

    I've since moved to the Chicago, IL area and I have NEVER seen a snowfall even close (23" in Feb of 2011 or 12, I think). And you think your measly, pathetic little 14" with some ice on it is something.

    Trust me, your Oregonian elder, that's nothin.

  8. For some odd reason, your blog is no longer blocked by my work ID10-T dept! Yay!

    I'm almost never on the computer at home these days cuz I am now happily married for a year and I have a wife that actually LIKES me!

    This was a heart-warming and toe-numbing account that makes me gladder to live on the temperate Texas Gulf Coast! Our winter damage comes in the form of 8 dwarf oleanders who got 18 inches of foliage nipped and a potted plant my wife received as a going-away-gift from one of the elementary schools where she used to work.

    Just reading your account makes me want to push down the thermostat and pour a cup of coffee. And then happily spill it on my feet.

    Good luck up there, Brother Nameless Thing!

  9. On re-reading, i discovered that the fate of the potted plant was unclear. It died. It was about 5 years old. Or so.

  10. Inno, you're back? Would have been here sooner had I known. I find those ten day forecasts very helpful in planning shopping for emergency trips. Just thought I'd add salt to the wound.


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