The same nasty storm that dumped copious amounts of water on California last week, dumped the frozen version on Oregon and Washington a day or two later. What did us in here at EvenSong was the wind. We were getting steady winds of 25-30 mph, and 40 mph gusts. It was very localized: 20 miles away in Ellensburg they got the snow, but very little wind. Interstate 90, just north of us, however, had drifting and white-out conditions that shut down east-west traffic across the state for most of a day.
The "back" of my barn faces the usual prevailing storm winds to the northeast, but because this storm came from the south, the wind-blown snow came right on through all the open run-ins on the south!
|It's hard to tell where the stall ends and the paddock begins!|
When the wind did finally shift to the north, drifts started piling up everywhere.
|Digging my way out to the compost pile.|
|Looking back at Sonny through that same drift.|
|In front of the house.|
|Looking north up the driveway. Those are five foot tall posts on the right.|
During the first storm, I plowed the driveway out four times in 48 hours.
This week I had tried to keep it open, but after two plow jobs immediately got obliterated, I gave up and decided to wait until things calmed down before trying again to clear the way for a trip to town for groceries, feed, and bedding.
That plan changed when the LP delivery truck driver decided to try to bull his way in, and buried his chained up rear tires in the snow I had already plowed to the sides of the drive. He had called for a tow truck to pull him out, but I checked our gauge, and we really did need the gas. So for the third time, my little blue tractor got put into action. Got him into the tank just as the tow truck showed up, and nearly got stuck himself!
Once they were done, I decided I may as well get my trip to town done, since I could get out. What I didn't count on is the storm completely filling in the driveway in the two hours I was in town.
This was as far in as I got. Allan and I carried in what groceries couldn't stay in the truck overnight, in single digit temperatures and continued gusty winds. Grain, shavings, and already frozen food waited for the next day.
Assessing the three foot drifts in the driveway, with snow piled high on either side from previous plowings, I broke down and created a path through the adjacent pasture--less snow, because there were no trees to stop the wind, and more open space into which I could plow what snow there was.
For now, this will have to do. The wind has stopped, so I'll whittle away at the driveway over the next few days.
In the arena, snow is piling up--not only drifts that formed from the wind pattern around the barn, but also what I had to pile there to clear paths to the driveway and house.
|"Intrepid barn manager conquers Mt. EvenSong!"|
Kate sees a distinct advantage to this state of affairs: we won't be working here any time soon!