Just as predicted, the latest winter storm rolled into Western North Carolina sometime after midnight on 01/10/2011 and provided us with yet another white scene to enjoy with our morning coffee. The forecasters had been warning us of this storm and were really hyping the pending action on last night’s news shows. I must say, they hit the “nail on the head” this time…
(The Navigator’s Holiday flag stands out against the white backdrop!)
During the day on Sunday, we experienced some slight melt of the snow from Friday’s storm and when we hit the bed last night, we had 2” remaining on our deck. Upon arising this morning (Monday), that total had risen to 8”. Snow fell throughout the morning and reached the 10” mark at our house in southern Haywood County. My friend and fellow cyclist, Brandon, reported 27” of new snow at his house bringing him to a total snowfall since Christmas 2010 of 58”.
(View back to the northeast from our deck)
Even if my bike weren’t in the shop getting a mid-winter’s checkup, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be riding today. So, rather than spend time on the treadmill in our basement, I opted for the much more fun cardio program of shoveling snow! Having learned from my sister of the joys of snow blowing with a leaf blower, I headed out of the driveway with my backpack blower locked and loaded. An hour later, my arms were worn out and my lower back was aching. I had almost cleared the first incline from our house down to the main road. As it turns out, 9” of wet snow doesn’t blow away quite as easily as 2” to 4” of dry fluff.
By this time, the falling snow had turned over to a light sleet/drizzle and was adding a crust to the fallen blanket. I traded the blower for a shovel for the next section of road to be cleared. The Navigator joined me and we shoveled out sufficient tracks on the next steepest section of our partly paved/partly graveled road for travel. After 2 hours of snow shoveling, we declared victory and returned to the house knowing we could get to the main road for work on Tuesday. Both of our offices were closed today for the first time in several years.
(Snow covered vehicles awaiting some attention…)
The remainder of our day has been spent enjoying the birds at our 3 feeders, drinking coffee, and watching the horses across the way frolic in the snow. There is absolutely something peaceful about the landscape covered in snow. The grapevines in the image above have looked like living ornament trees today with the many, many varieties of birds we get to enjoy. The vines provide cover and a nice “dining location” for the ever important cracking of the sunflower seed!
As quiet and peaceful as today has been, we are also aware that circumstances in our country are far from that state of being. As with so many cycling blogs that I’ve read the past two days, our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families of the Tucson tragedy. Thanks to Ted and BikinginLa for this additional piece of information regarding Rep. “Gabby” Giffords and her pro-cycling stance. Rep. Giffords was also a dedicated motorcyclist and supported various means of alternative transportation options.
The next round of snow should arrive later tonight and we have below freezing temps in the long range forecast for the rest of this work week along with almost daily snow showers. Hey, it must be winter!