Higher and Deeper

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.


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  1. I’m really intrigued by your adventures. And you sure describe the weather well. Admire your pluck!

    • Well then. I do tend to get myself into adventures, don’t I? Fortunate that my father was an adventurer, an outdoorsman, a woodsman, and a philosopher. Whenever I get in a bind, I ask myself: WWDD (what would dad do)?

  2. I’m up to my eye balls in snow
    I can’t seem to get ahead of it
    The older I get the harder it is
    God how I hate to have to rest in between
    What else can I do

  3. Laura, brave adventurer! But, then, wherever you go and whatever you do, there’s always a compelling experience you write about, and I read word for word! Coming from the blizzards in Maine as a kid, I can relate to this one! Only as a kid it was bundle up and brace yourself against the snow to have FUN! Yikes, not the same for adults. Snow, snow go away! Elizabeth

    • Snow angels! Snow forts! Snowball fights (My peer group, unfortunately, put rocks in them)!

      At this point I’m mostly done with this igloo thing, and the wind is blowing so hard it’s rocking the van. Supposed to be nice tomorrow, though, in which case I’m out of here!

  4. Wow, it sounds like you’re in a white Mars (having just watched “The Martian” last night)! Be safe, poor Atina… sending you and her warm hugs! We had snow too but a measly 2 inches and yesterday everything was shut down, the Buffalonian in me laughed! xxxooo

    • Yeah, really! When I lived in Rochester I used to get really pissed if the storm dumped on Buff and were only got a dusting. But the lake effect snow…ah, I loved it, except parking was a problem….

  5. Hope you stay safe where you are. it just started snowing lightly in my area

  6. All you need is a little snow cream! Bundle up and sit back and enjoy! (But…don’t use the yellow snow for the snow cream!) Glad you made it through the night!

    • What’s snow cream?

      It’s much worse now. The wind it’s howling, sometimes roaring. That gets my tornado PTSD riled up.

      • It’s a staple of the South! LOL You gather up a bowl of snow, sprinkle sugar over it, and add a few drops of vanilla flavoring. (my “f” is disappearing before words for some reason. 😦

        • I grew up in the south… we never had snow 😦

          • I would call it “poor mans’ ice cream.” I have a batch in my freezer right now. It was something I looked forward to every year…then came the “cold war” so we had to wait until the second snowfall. Then it was the third, fourth…eventually it was advised that we not eat the snow. I didn’t care this year….

      • Laura, I want to nominate you for the “One Lovely Blog Award.” Have you already been nominated?

        • Hi darlin’, thank you so much! I don’t do blog awards. I can’t handle the “chain letter” aspect. My report cards always said:
          –runs with scissors
          –does not color inside the lines
          –does not play well with others

          So I take your offer as a hug and a smile, and that is a huge award for me!

          • Okay. My list now consists of one…everybody else has been nominated or like you and the lonely author, decline.
            Thank you for the hug and smile….I appreciate it!

  7. Time to stay nice and cozy inside! Love to read your writing, as usual.

  8. I heard it is one of the biggest snow storms in USA. Are you near Virginia?

  9. I’m glad you’re safe…This sounds like violent weather.

  10. Dirt adds extra insulation, you know.


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