Monday, February 21, 2011

Just another Minnesota snowstorm

When I crawled out of bed early Sunday morning, I was surprised. Why? I was surprised that it wasn't already snowing. The weather terrorists down by the Iowa border (I was playing poker with some friends on Saturday) were in high gear pimping out the tragic details (ice, loss of electricity, 30 foot drifts, flying cows, etc.) of the impending snowstorm poised to barrel into the area around midnight.

Imagine my surprise then on Sunday morning when I peered out from the second floor of my grand estate to see not a single flake. I quickly blurted out that this was another miss from the weather terrorists. As I've said all winter, I'll believe it when I'm shoveling it.

I went about my day but soon I was proven wrong as the snow began falling. By late afternoon I ventured outside and began shoveling the entire length of the driveway. 45 minutes later it was somewhat clear but I knew, based on how fast the snow was falling, that I'd be revisiting this hellish driveway once again. After all, the city had only plowed my driveway shut once, they had at least two more times in them if not more.

Again around 8 PM I donned my snow gear and made a second, less complete effort at clearing the snow. Feeling like I was made of cooked spaghetti, I wasn't really feeling it. My heart wasn't in it and I just wanted to magically wish the snow away but after that failed I returned to my trusty shovel. This time there was a mere 4 or 5 inches as opposed to the 10 inches I encountered a few hours earlier. In a half-assed attempt, I made two semi-clear tracks through the snow, heaved the snowplow-induced drift out of the end of the driveway and in less than 30 minutes I was back inside to shed yet another pair of snow-encrusted jeans and finally relax. I knew that morning would test me yet again and I had no desire to even ponder what magical moments would await me come sunrise.

But after I popped my contact lenses in I noticed that it had virtually stopped snowing overnight. Had we really escaped with a mere 15 or so inches of new snow? I quickly backed my car from the garage and eventually made it to the grand highway.

That's where it became apparent to me that MNDOT was treating today (Presidents Day) as a holiday. As the majority of the country got to stay home, I still had to venture into the office. U.S. Highway 169 presented itself more as a rutted 1890s country road than a four-lane expressway. The loose snow was cleared, thankfully, but the ruts from the hard packed snow made my car handle like I was driving through a rock-filled ditch or the worst stretches of the Oregon Trail. My teeth clanked on each other and various items in and on my car rattled relentlessly. This was like some poorly thought out amusement park ride (maybe Toothchipper: The Experience!) but based on the number of cars I encountered it was still obviously a highway.

Whatever the case, I still arrived but I know too that MNDOT will have that same highway in pristine condition because that's just how it is here in Minnesota. It snows a foot and a half and 18 hours later the roads are mostly driveable and life returns to normal. So next time it snows 18 inches in some exotic locale like Indianapolis or Oklahome City just remember that it is not news. It happens and we move on.


Minnesota Resorts said...

The snow was terrible! I can completely relate!

Sandy said...

What does Snow Terrorist mean? You know what i live in india and for 25 years i have never seen snow in my life. Then by gods grace i got to visit England and I saw snow for the first time and it was so cooool.