Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snowpocalypse Now!

Horses in the snow
Living in rural Montana means having the ability to hole up for several days due to the weather and still be able to survive.  We got our first big snowstorm of the season, and boy was it a doozy.  The forecasters were warning us how big it was going to be.  I picked up extra food for the beasts and prepared to be snowbound.

Snow pile with Kira next to it
The snow that came dumped more than 2 feet on us.  I'm thinking it was close to 2 1/2 feet when it finally stopped, but the snow compressed over time, so it ended up looking like less.  All I know was when I was plowing, I was plowing over the same area with 4-6 inches of new snow two or three times a day.  Over three days, that made it really tiring.

The main concern was getting to the woodpile to get wood for the woodstove, getting to the barn to care for critters, and maintaining a path I could walk.  What I discovered was all the work I did required me to walk through lots of snow that was above my knee, thus soaking my clothes.  I rotated between three pairs of gloves and two pairs of boots because they were constantly getting soaked.

I'd like to say that I was good at plowing, but the truth be known, the snow kicked my butt.  I dug through a two foot path more than once and then dug through the backyard to get to the woodshed.  I then had to dig out the barn because my neighbor plowed it in with a 5 foot berm.  I, too, plowed, though it took nearly two hours to clear what little I could from the driveway and road.  I was running out of room to push the snow, which can be very disconcerting.

You may be looking at the pictures and saying, "well, it doesn't look bad."  The picture of Thor is level, not looking down.  Thor is a huge dog -- 31 inches at the shoulder and his head comes up to my chest.  He looks dwarfed by this snow.

The other photo above with the jumble of snow is with Kira, who is about 25 inches at the shoulder.  The snow pile next to her is at least 5 feet tall.  If you take a good look at the first picture of the barn, you'll note that the fence around the horses was 5 feet tall.  The pile of snow next to the horses from the roof is taller than the horses!

Mishka getting wood
I brought Mishka along while I got firewood and snapped these photos as well.  She's my smallest Malamute at some 22 inches tall.  She wasn't in the mood to bound into the snow in this photo. The last photo is the roof of my woodshed.  Yep, we got a lot.

The forecasters say that this is the 7th snowiest dump ever recorded in the area since 1893.  While I'm used to snow, seeing this much in one dump is still pretty amazing.

Update: it's now 45F and raining.  Lovely.

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