Saturday, January 8, 2011

MOTHER NATURE LAYS ON ANOTHER WHITE BLANKET!

Our latest round of wintry weather started on Friday morning with light flurries, which escalated into a fairly heavy snow by mid-day. Sitting in our Rotary meeting and looking out across the surrounding mountains made for a very pretty winter scene. The temperatures were holding right around 34 degrees so there was no accumulation occurring on the roads and walkways.

Latest blanket of snow falls in WNC!

(On the way to pick up Sherry Shazam for supper…)

Having accepted the likelihood that I wouldn’t be riding for the next 7 or so days, I loaded up my bike and took it to my LBS, Rolls Rite Bicycle, in Waynesville. It seemed like a good time to get a good tune-up and review done…

I kept an eye on my weather station as the end of the work day approached. We were still enjoying a relatively heavy snowfall without accumulation until the temperature hit the magic 32 degree mark. Within 10 minutes, our deck and vehicles were white and the main road, visible to me from our deck, was covered.

Not to be deterred from a good meal, The Navigator and I conferred with Sherry Shazam and the Wood-man and decided we should arrive earlier than our intended 7:30 p.m. reservation for supper at the Sweet Onion in downtown Waynesville. After contacting the restaurant to be sure they were still open, we headed out to pickup Sherry Shazam .

Driving circumstances over Pigeon Gap had deteriorated significantly. We were essentially driving in “white out” conditions. This was one of those times that I’m still pleased to own a 4X4 pickup truck that goes well in the adverse weather conditions.

Sherry Shazam to the truck...

Sherry Shazam and the Navigator loading up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Sisters loading up for the ride to the Sweet Onion…)

The roads for the remainder of the ride into town were snow covered with an ice base. What little traffic there was on the roads was primarily 4-wheeled drive vehicles. As we passed the Fire Department, I could see what appeared to be a planning meeting going on through the large windows.

In town proper, we came upon a particularly steep hill on North Main that had become impassable even for 4X4’s. There were two vehicles, having gone as far as they could, attempting to safely retreat down the icy road. Our choice was pretty clear at that point and I headed up Wall St., which has a much slighter grade.

As I made my right hand turn on to Main, I managed to elicit from Sherry Shazam a high pitched squeal when she thought I was going to clip a vehicle sitting on the ONLY stop light in town that wasn’t on flash mode. Knowing that Miller St. is about a 12%+ grade, I opted for safety over exhilaration and dropped down to 4 wheel low and just let the truck “walk down” to the restaurant.

Turns out we were some of the few patrons enjoying the hospitality of the Onion on this wintry night. We all enjoyed a fine meal celebrating the Navigator’s (01/01)  and my (01/06) birthdays. Many of the Christmas Season lights are still up and glowing thanks to the Downtown Waynesville Association and they made for some pretty images.

Shining trees on Miller St.

(Miller Street in the glow of a wintry scene…)

While we ate, the town crews had been out and about working on clearing the streets. As you can see, they had made one swath down Miller already when I grabbed this image. As we made our way home, the roads and driving conditions were actually much better than when we arrived.

As I write this morning (Saturday, January 8th), the snow is still falling as are the temperatures. We’re projected to get more snow throughout the day, a brief respite for 18 hours or so, and then another round of moisture hitting the area Sunday night into Monday. With temps not expected to get above freezing for the next week, I’m setting my expectations for more reading and writing but not riding. In a somewhat related note, I still haven’t heard from the good folks at Salsa about when to expect delivery of my free Fargo-TI 29’er. I wonder if they lost that email message…

I’m just sad that Bro Dave has to satisfy himself with being forced to ride his Fargo in warm weather in sunny L.A. I felt bad for him that he had to put on a light jacket last night to sit around his outside fire…

Stay warm!

- Zeke

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