Sunday, February 9, 2014

Snowpocalypse 2014

Just in case you've been living under a rock, there's this crazy, nasty thing going on this winter called a polar vortex.  I won't even try to explain what's going on, but the effects are more than unpleasant.  We had one week plus of painfully cold temperatures in our area (much colder than the norm, though not nearly as cold as some parts of the country were/have been getting) back in December and I kind of thought that was all that we were going to see.  After all, this area is pretty moderate on weather normally.  Well, apparently the polar vortex isn't done.  Now enter Snowpocalypse 2014. 

The snow started falling on Thursday the 6th and has continued intermittently since then with the addition of freezing rain yesterday evening.  Before the icy crap came to rain on my parade (I know, stellar pun), I had over a foot of snow at my house.  Keep in mind, the one inch of snow that we usually get once a year is enough to shut down the entire city of Portland and surrounding areas.  Schools get closed, people get sent home from work (if they "make it in"), life as we know it comes to a screeching halt.  For one inch of snow.  Now imagine the chaos from more than that.  This area is just not equipped, and understandably so, to handle maintaining road ways and everything else under this kind of load.  There aren't enough snow plows, gravel, or other supplies or personnel that are needed just to keep the main roads clear.  When you combine that with people who literally lose their sh*t at the sight of this white stuff, and yet still try to drive; it makes for quite unpleasant conditions.  There were people stuck on the major freeways for hours on the first day.  To the point where people were just giving up, getting off at the nearest exit, and hunkering down in a hotel.

Meanwhile, I live relatively close to work, don't mind driving in the snow, have a reliable vehicle with four wheel drive (and carry chains just in case), and had the realization a couple months ago that I should start building up the food in my pantry in case of any natural "disasters" so that I would be okay hunkering down in my house for a little while and not run out of food.  All these things came together for a relatively stress free Snowpocalypse for me and the pooches.  There was one minor blip on the radar on Thursday afternoon while the initial snow panic was happening, but that's a story for another blog post. ;)  All-in-all, it's been a kind of fun time.  I feel guilty admitting that since I know it's been a rather stressful time for a lot of people, but I've been fortunate to be in a good place for this to happen.  Now on to the pictures and video!!

There wasn't much to report on Thursday and I pretty much didn't take any pictures.  I was a little stressed out that day and was just happy to have all of my dogs safely at home with me.  Again, the stressful part is a story for another post.  Friday I was more happy to sit back and enjoy how pretty the snow was and actually start capturing the moment.  I did work a mostly normal shift that day.  And I have to admit, it's incredibly peaceful to be at work when there's a minimal staff around.  I was able to get a lot accomplished because I didn't receive hardly any email and there wasn't a lot to coordinate or questions to answer.  It was bliss!  I took a video of the dogs going out to potty in the snow that had accumulated at that point, once I got home from work.  The weather had been so dry that the snow was really powdery and light.  I had to sweep the area outside the garage door clear enough for Ruthie to venture out because she put the brakes on REAL fast when I opened the door and she saw what was waiting for her.  Heffner is also a little under the weather in the video, so Bess is the only one actually enjoying the snow.

She may be almost 7, but my crackhead still knows how to live it up! :)

Saturday (the 8th) was when the real fun began!  I only worked a half day and got to come home and really enjoy the snow!  First I snapped some pictures of the dogs in the back yard:

Bess was in some serious need of exorcising, so I slapped on my snowshoes and we headed to the fairgrounds near my house.  The area was not surprisingly vacant of people and I was pretty sure there weren't going to be any city personnel patrolling and ticketing for a dog off leash in this weather. ;)  The result was this:
Let me tell you, that was a heck of a workout!  I usually snowshoe along trails that have been "groomed" by snowmobiles.  This was virgin powder that I was tromping through.  It was WORK! 

Once Bess was sated enough to be alright hanging out at home, I swapped out my snowshoes for my beloved cross country skis!  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE cross country skiing!  And to be able to do it right out my front door??  Heaven!!
I toodled around my neighborhood, around the fairgrounds, and then headed off along one of the main roads.  It was cool just to be able to say that I went skiing down Cornell. ;)  Mind you, I stayed well away from the road.  The other unfortunate part about snowfall like this is that pedestrians seem to think that it's okay to start walking out in the actual road because the snow is packed down.  They seem to have a death wish or not fully understand that these conditions mean that vehicles cannot stop on a dime nor easily avoid them when they're walking IN THE ROAD.  Biggest pet peeve about the weather is stupid pedestrians with a death wish.  Accidents have been caused by vehicles trying to avoid people on foot in the road.  I could continue to rant on, but I should stop. ;)

After my little skiing jaunt, I got ready to batten down the hatches for the impending freezing rain.  Last night the layer of ice that accumulated wasn't so bad.  This morning, it's rather unpleasant.  I'm incredibly thankful that one of the technicians at work lives within walking distance and was able to make it in today and take care of things.  I owe her BIG TIME!!  I'm actually putting booties on the big dogs' feet when I turn them out so that they don't cut up their feet.  Ruthie has become the master of peeing as soon as all four feet hit the ground and then running back inside.  Lets not talking about the pooping.....oy!  My big plans for the day include blogging (check!), watching movies, and doing some exercise videos since going hiking is out of the question.

I hope everyone is staying safe and warm where ever you are!