Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I Wish It Would Snow Like The Old Days

Scootin' in a Winter Wonderland

I've been running my mouth lately about wanting to have a snowy winter, "the way it was when I was a kid". So between Sunday and Monday we ended up with 10 inches of snow in my yard. My parents got 15", and my boss was buried with two feet. So now that I have my wish, what do I do with it?

Well, in the interest of getting to work, and having a "grocery getter," I chained up my Chevy Citation beater that I bought for two hundred bucks. At least we would be able to get out and around if the snow got as bad as predicted. With this chore done, I tried out old Mule in the icy stuff. The stock tires had me squirreling all over the place. I wanted to ride, but this didn't feel safe. I needed a different plan.

The above photo is my other scoot, Kung Pow. It has an aggressive tire pattern more suited to snow than the BR, so I pulled it out of the quonset and fired it up. At this point I just wanted to ride. The street that I live on was still not covered too bad, as it was still early in the "snow event", so I took off and blasted around the neighborhood, flat tracking the corners. This was FUN. My wife came out and caught this shot on one of my hot-laps around the block. This would be my ride... or so I thought.

I wasn't expecting 10" overnight. Not even during the couple of hours that our power was out Sunday evening. I just didn't expect this much. The kicker came when I realized that nobody had been down my street yet early Monday morning. The schools were closed, and the plows were running only on the main streets. West 6th street was an untouched winter wonderland. And not even Kung Pow was going to push this much snow. I tried.

I ended up driving to work the last two days. I didn't want to drive, but I have to be at work, scooter or no scooter. We cut our 26 person staff at work down to seven people due to a weather affected drop in business. So as one of the magnificent seven, I worked straight through shifts each day. It was a good choice for me to drive because the streets were nasty. And as the temperatures dropped into the teens, the roads only got worse on the return commute. I needed chains for the last four blocks each night, as now they were a rutted, frozen mess. Today on my day off, we picked up enough snow to cover the icy streets again, making things a little trickier as I found out while picking Billy up from school. Even with chains I got sideways once.

As a side thought, I mentioned the power being out Sunday evening. During this time, Dena and I had lit some candles and turned on a local radio station to hear about the outages. The kids kept busy with some games, and we settled in to listen to KONP radio. Now, I'll set the scene. We are in a candle lit living room, kids are playing quietly on the floor, we are looking out the open curtains at the falling snow in the dim light of early evening. What came on the radio was perfect for this scenario. "The Old Time Radio Hour", with Sargent Preston of the Yukon, followed by The Green Hornet! We enjoyed this wonderful time together listening to radio shows from another era. The only thing missing was a 47' Ford parked out front.

As soon as the shows were over, and the announcer came on to report the local news, the lights blinked back on. All was good as far as the little ones were concerned, but in the hour before, all was good with me. I got my wish.

Have fun,


Blogger dan_durham said...

Over in Snohomish and King here it was your expected disaster. some folks were heading home after the hawks game and still in traffic at 4AM. I gave up on my commute after 4 hours and creeping by two jack-knifed metro's.
Well, at least the weather is warming up as the bike has been parked too long already!


12:48 AM  
Blogger Combatscoot said...

For our public stations, it's a choice between A Prairie Home Companion and Sounds of Swing on saturday nights. A Prairie Home Companion is good when it's not a rerun, plus that station doesn't come in well, so we normally choose Sounds of Swing. The Big Band Sound puts my son right to sleep, so we make the pretense that he can stay up as long as he likes in his room on saturday nights, and he usually lasts, maybe, 10 minutes.

7:27 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

So now you know...

Not even the Red Baron and I could make it far through snow that was deeper than our ground clearance.

Last year, I set it up so that I didn't have any choice but to ride the scooter. This year, I've got the truck as an option.

I really like that description of making the most of your power outage. That sounds like a wonderful time.

Bill, I'm really beginning to enjoy your blog. Keep up the good words!

Ride well,

9:23 AM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

Dan, I had a buddy that got hung up in the historic Seahawk marathon commute. He finally made it home the next afternoon...frazzled.
You're right about being parked too long. I need to ride soon, I miss my Mule.

John, I grew up on Big Band music as my Dad was a drummer in a swing band. I'm still into the Dorsey Brothers, Glenn Miller and the like. The big names.
There is something about that whole era that intrigues me. The bikes, the music, the cars...the lifestyle. I love it.

Gary, I really didn't want to break the string of consecutive days commuting by scooter. But Mother Nature won the round. I'll be back on when I get the road back.
Now, not to sound like a total suck-up, but you and your blog have been my benchmark. I knew going in that I couldn't write like you, so I didn't try. But I feel that I'm accomplishing what I set out to do when I receive your encouragement.
Thank you for your kind words.

Have fun,

6:44 PM  
Blogger Steve Williams said...

Bill: Your time at home with your family with the power out sounds wonderful. I remember watching the TV version of Sergent Preston and his dog King in the early 60's with my dad. TV was an event then.

Aside from a few cold days we haven't had any snow so riding has been pretty easy.

6:27 PM  

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