Whiteout!

It all started a couple nights ago. We’d gone to Happy Hour at a nearby XC resort with the other volunteers, and afterwards we stepped outside into a world of swirling snow.  It was a harrowing drive back with huge snowflakes flying at us, illuminated by our headlights.  The car was stifling inside with the defroster pouring out heat, still unable to keep up with the ice forming on the windshield.  It wasn’t a long drive but it sure felt that way, and we were greatly relieved when we crept down the entrance to Snow Mountain Ranch.

DSCN0119For the last two days the wind has been relentless. The new snow on the ground is easily whipped into deep drifts and obliterates the surrounding scenery. With gusts up to 40 mph yesterday it wasn’t a day for outdoor recreation. In fact, the wind shut down the entire Nordic ski trail system, wiping out the trails and tracks. The groomers will be a starting from scratch to recreate the trails and set new track.

When I woke up this morning, all I could see from my window was white. Since it was my day off, I’d signed up for a snowshoe hike. It didn’t look like the kind of weather I wanted to venture out in, and I was saved the embarrassment of wimping out on the event by having the organizer cancel it. Apparently he agreed with my assessment of the weather.

Despite that grim start to the day, the sun has come out. It’s quit a tease, making it look nice outside and tempting to reconsider some outdoor activity. But the wind continues to howl and snow blows horizontally outside the window. One look at the distant mountaintops reveals what could be coming our way – more snow and clouds. For now, I’ll continue to hang out by the fire in the lodge.

According to volunteers who have been coming here for years this weather is unusual. It does get plenty windy here, but these strong winds for such a long duration are not the norm. So we can hope that they will subside. It’s been a challenging winter everywhere this year. I guess here in the mountain valley that means wind and whiteouts.

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