The wind howls and rocks the van. We feel like we’re in a space ship, hurtling through a hostile zone:
“The wind blew and spit icicles in their faces…” –Carl Sandburg
Periodically in the night we were awakened by crashes as layers of ice and snow slid off the sides of the van and smashed on the punky snow below.
Poor Atina was frantic to go out at first light, but we couldn’t risk it due to extreme high winds. And since every window is covered either by Reflectix or by handy insulating layers of snow and ice, the only way to check the situation would be to open the main hatch and risk having the door blown shut on some body part–not worth the risk. So I told Atina to cross her legs till the wind took a break!
When things settled down to where I was pretty sure we would not be impaled with flying tree branches, Atina watched anxiously as I slowly and deliberately donned layer after layer of mountaineering gear: double layer of silk underwear, water and windproof pants, microfleece vest, mask, thick wool socks, high altitude ski parka, ski gloves, and I sure wish I had a pair of goggles but I don’t. I’ll have to hope that the anti-fog stuff I sprayed on my glasses actually works.
My parka hails from my ski bum days in the ’90s. One of the benefits of my recent shocking weight loss is that it fits me again, over multiple layers of other warm things. Yay!
The hood of this parka snugs up into a visored helmet, thanks to a system of drawcords that don’t even get in the way like some annoying others I’ve had. It’s designed for extreme conditions. I love my good old EMS parka! (Eastern Mountain Sports, not Emergency Medical System)
When I get finished with the ski togs system, not a square inch of exposed skin will remain, with the exception of what gets around my glasses.
Blizzard footwear: a pair of knee high fleece lined rain boots. Love ’em.
Hiking sticks, because I fall over easily.
Had to kick the main hatch, also known as side door, open, as it had, as expected, frozen shut during the night. A dangerous shower of icicles and chunks of solid frozen junk clattered off the roof. I shut the door again to let the debris pass before trying to exit. Atina bored holes in me with desperate eyes.
When it seemed safe, I opened the door and stepped out into a howling wasteland of grey. Atina jumped out and made a yellow spot.
Very, very unfortunately, the sky has made layers of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and back to the beginning. So instead of having nice drifts of light, fluffy white powder, we’ve got….crud. It’s all frozen together. Tomorrow it will be rock-hard. The night time temperatures will be in the teens, with daytime temps above freezing. That means a melt/freeze cycle that will just create a foot or so of nasty grey ice that would take a jackhammer to bust through.
My nice RV park people plowed out my driveway yesterday, but today you can’t even tell they did it. I sure hope they’ll help me get out of here after this storm passes.
I wish I’d taken a shower before the storm hit. I was so busy making preparations that I didn’t get to it. Oh well, I thought, I’ll walk over on Saturday and get a nice hot one.
Well. Snow is one thing, but I hadn’t counted on this wind. I ain’t going out there unless absolutely necessary. I’ll stay dirty till tomorrow.