Friday, November 20, 2015

The Long Winter

We might be living in successive Laura Ingalls Wilder novels.

Seriously! First, we moved into the House in the Big Woods. Then, we moved to the House on the Prairie. Now... well, darn it! We just stepped into the novel, The Long Winter!

Seriously, how did people survive back then? When blizzards hit, how did every single person in a cabin on the prairie or one of those sod houses not DIE?

We have had a blizzard out here on the prairie. Well, to be fair, most of the Colorado Springs area got hit with the storm system, but go with me here. Starting in the late afternoon, the winds picked up and it started snowing. Overnight, the winds raged, and the snow came down. We probably only got 7 inches of snow (other areas got upward of 20 inches), but we got more than our fair share of wind.

Wind means blowing snow.

Somewhere out there is my poor husband,
We got up Tuesday morning to white-out conditions. You couldn't see to the road in front of our house, and the wind was still kicking at good 40-50 mph consistently. The news later reported that we had wind gusts of up to 100mph. My work closed for the first time since we've been here. It was bad.

Eric left to try to go to the doctor's for a follow-up on that shoulder of his, and, because of the aforementioned whiteout conditions, slammed right into a the results of the windbreak along the north side of the property, a four-foot-tall snow drift covering the driveway for approximately 20 feet. HailNo maybe a superstar of a car, but it met its limit.

Hours later, he was still trying to shovel out. Eventually, we both shoveled. We stuck things under the tires. We rocked the car back and forth. All of this while the wind was still raging, slicing at our faces like an angry Ginsu-dealer. We lost a shovel in the melee. Eventually, we were able to back HailNo up and get it to the safety of the garage.

We tried to continue shoveling, wind not withstanding. We realized that this was not the only 4 foot drift we had to contend with. We also realized that on the other side of the circular portion of the driveway, there was a 6 foot drift completely obliterating any chance of getting anything less than a dogsled through. We used the snowblower on what we could, but a good chunk of the driveway is gravel.

I shoveled that in order to free the car.
We eventually gave up. However, a problem remained: how do we get out of here?

Eventually, the wind died down after dark. Despite the 3, 4 and 6 foot drifts covering the driveway, the front lawn was virtually clean of any snow in wide swaths. 
Having no other feasible option, we crept both HailNo and my Honda out over the grass, and to the edge of the drive, where the snow wasn't too deep. I held my breath, but the ground was frozen and is doesn't look like we did any harm to the grass. Someday we won't keep getting lucky on these misadventures! We were able to get to work on Wednesday, hoping that the super-strong Colorado sun would melt what we were unable to move.

It didn't.

Nor did it on Thursday.
I have added this man's number to my contacts. Maybe he
should be on speed dial.

Today, I was finally able to find someone to come plow. 30 minutes of tire spinning, truck rocking, overdrive pushing later, the driveway is passable again.

But only on the 3 foot side. The 6 foot side may be impassable until June.

Its' started blowing again, and has clouded over since I took this last photo, just two hours ago...

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