Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Vermont...climate change edition

So far the past two winters in NJ have resulted in barely any snow. To get to real winter, we have to drive up to VT. Last President's Day weekend we went up to VT right after a record breaking snow storm. We are talking about 4 feet of snow and people shoveling their roofs. It was quite the journey and weekend full of obstacles and stories. This President's Day weekend I came prepared with flashlight, handwarmers, and extra gloves. The drive up went off without a hitch, until we got into VT where it started snowing. There was a light coating on the roads which made driving a little more precarious. We took precautions while driving and were probably about 30 minutes ahead of the other car in our group. They caught up and took the lead on the winding and hilly hour long final stretch. We were about to go through a blind curve over a bridge when the other car was seen dead stopped in the middle of the road. We slammed on our brakes and thought there would be an impact. Lesson one kids - Even if you think there's damage to your vehicle, please pull safely over to the side of the road in a blind curve to avoid another accident. We barely stopped in time. We made it to the house and driveway had been plowed but there was still about an inch of snow. We made it almost to the top when we couldn't go forward because we kept slipping. Regardless, we were happy to have made it and finally get out of the car. The dogs couldn't have agreed anymore.

There was probably about 2 feet of snow on the ground and awesome icicles coming off the roof. The next day we were off the grocery store where I spent a ridiculous amount of money on food and wine. For some reason, I thought that a crazy blizzard would come by and we would be trapped inside the house for the rest of the weekend. It probably didn't help that it was snowing the whole time we were at the grocery store. The parking lot was a sloppy slushy mess and we loaded the trunk and car completely full. Of course, we didn't make it all the way up the driveway because we were so heavy.

Overall the weekend was quiet, full of reading, watching movies, hanging out by the fireplace, playing Wii and with dogs, eating, drinking, resting, and the occasional outside snow play. I finished two books and should have brought another. Speaking of eating, here's another lesson for the kids. When cooking or baking something that's extraordinarily messy, sticky, greasy, etc., it's important to clean the pot/pan ASAP or at least let it soak immediately with soapy water. A large amount of bacon was made one morning and the pot was not cleaned that day. I think it finally made it to soaking a few hours later, but the damage was done. Burnt on bacon grease was almost impossible to remove. I tried later that afternoon with a steel wool, but I couldn't get even a small patch off. Another tried later that day as well with the same result. It was left to the last morning for frantic extreme cleaning with steel wool and abrasive cleaner. It still wasn't 100 percent cleaned and I'm sure we'll hear all about the repursions from this even if the house is even more sparkling clean than when we first arrived. Only one of the three dogs really enjoys snow and water play. The black lab just loves to hang out in the snow and attempt to catch snow in her mouth. Even with 2+ feet of snow, she still manages to wiggle her way through the snow. In the summer, she is completely obsessed with the pond and is still drawn to it in the winter. She would disobey orders and run towards the nearby drainage ditch that goes into the pond. The other dogs were obsessed with the ice/snow melt inside the house. Boots would be licked clean and any wet spots were quickly drunk up.

I had my first snow shoeing adventure. I did pretty good and had only one spill. I really should have brought the ski poles to help me, but no matter. It's still a workout since you sink like 5 inches down in the snow.
The last day we woke to super warm temperatures and most of the icicles were history. It must have been at least 50 degrees, which was insane. Our local road that is mostly sand and gravel became like driving on a wet beach. Thankfully, no one was coming the other way when we were coming down.

1 comment:

Colleen said...

I really wish I could've been there.
And labs LOVE snow. You should hear Tom's stories from when he lived in Tahoe, after huge snow dumps... they'd throw the dogs off the deck and they'd tunnel through the snow like Bugs Bunny underground, then come back for more.