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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

SNOW WEARY

convergence




I blazed a trail up the driveway to my neighbor's the Carpenters, primarily to see if the car would make it. It better than made it. It showed me what it could do. The snow had shrunk down to 4 or 5 inches. That's about what I anticipated when I took it up there. I wanted to make some tracks too that might melt on these afternoons of a couple hours above freezing. Got a few pictures from the deck at the house. Above is one of them, the convergence of two branches running from springs nearby on their way to the creek, Waterfalls Creek, origin of the Little River that runs through Sparta on its way to the New River, Ohio River, Mississippi River, Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean. The springs that feed into it are at the very edge of the Continental Divide. The 2 lane highway is the dividing line a good bit of the way. Springs the other side of the Parkway flow to the Atlantic.
I haven't yet driven the Catfish on the Parkway. Must remember to do that when weather allows. The Blue Ridge Music Center is a nice drive up the Parkway, a drive at a good smooth pace. Mountain Music Jamboree a nice drive the other way, more dramatic, big vistas. Less people on the Parkway now that gas costs so much. Gives the fellers running liquor a clear road to run, be careful of the deer.
I have to confess to being bored by the snow and freezing temperatures, cold and wet when the temperature is above freezing. The snow was too deep to be an enjoyment walking in it, and by now it's so wet and slushy it's not easy keeping a foothold on a bank. The snow is so wet if you fall down, you're wet like falling in water. At night the slush freezes. It freezes and thaws, freezes and thaws. I look out the window and want to stay inside. The cats see a dog tail go by the window that makes indoors a good place to be.
Of course, after this long a time below freezing my water has been frozen awhile. A trickle runs through, enough for the toilet, which is all I ask. A few days and nights of nothing but below freezing, and it got the trickle. The water came back when the temp rose during the day. I drove up to the other house to get 6 gallons of water. I keep half gallon ocean spray bottles and fill them with water. Driving was the way to do it. I thought of walking, but that's the same as 2 5gal buckets, 3gal of water in each one. One in each hand, a lot of weight. Carried them 6 in a bag, easy to carry, just too heavy for walking from here to there and back. From the house to the car, no problem, from the car to the house, no problem.
I was happy to see ol Catfish could pull its way through 4 and 5 inches of snow. Turning in to the driveway I had the slush from the snow in the road the dumptruck scoop threw over. It was something I aimed to plow through in a hurry to break through it. It didn't work like that. Distracted by something else, I found I had stopped with the front wheels in that pile by the side of the road. It was a little slippery, but I went through it like there's nothing to it. I like front wheel drive, like it a lot. It walked right up the driveway with narry a slip. Of course, I wasn't racing it, but feeling it along like the tires were my shoe soles.
This winter certainly has given me plenty of chances to get a measure of how it does on snow and ice. Better than anything I've owned before. The 4wheel Toyota pickup that burned was good on snow with 4wheel. Not at all with rear wheel. It was ok on ice too, but I don't think as good as the Buick because of the center of gravity. The pickup's was way high, which worked fine most of the time. In Dead Man's Curve I had to watch it. It tilted too easily for my comfort. This Buick hugs the road in that curve like it's saying to me, go ahead, see what I can do. It doesn't take the curve like a sports car, which is ok. I don't need it to. It's my old man car. I just need it to get me there.
It sounds like an army of helicopters going overhead. Earlier I heard one going south to north, took it for a medical helicopter on its way to Alleghany hospital. At first I thought the helicopter I heard less than half an hour later, going north to south, would be the same one on its way back. Then I heard another go one direction and another go another direction. Who knows? I'm not even going to question what it's about. I have nothing to go by for guessing. A blinder guess than pennies in a gallon jar. Helicopters in the night. As long as I don't hear machine gun fire, I know they're not making a movie.

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