Wow! Zowie! It looks like we might have a white Christmas this year. This is mentioned because amidst the gab of the several weather reports we see on the tube, the snow factor enters into every conversation (between commercials for removing fat, hiring a lawyer or buying a skillet) that occurs as the folksy announcers discuss the weather.
White Christmases, of course, are nothing new here. In West Boesel the snow depth is right around 20 inches and on this Monday morning snow is falling again. My son is coming up for the three days of Christmas and because he is a Coastie, and the forecast for Friday’s low temperature is 9 degrees, we are making preparations to keep his truck cozy overnight as he sleeps in luxury in a Winthrop motel.
When I lived in eastern Montana, where we got double-digits below zero temperatures and frequently high winds to exacerbate the cold, the common way to keep the fluids from becoming Exxon sundaes was to take a 100-watt light bulb at the end of an extension cord, put it along the engine, and cover it up with one or two heavy blankets. Magnetic car heaters may have been invented by then in the 1950s, but the light bulbs did the trick.
Many Mazama residents and other valley denizens have fled, some to new permanent residences in Arizona, New Mexico, Hawaii and Seattle, among other places. Marc LeDuc has taken temporary refuge on a motorcycle with a friend headed for the summer warmth of Patagonia. At last communication, he had departed Nicaragua, was in Costa Rica and headed for Panama.
The LeDucs, owners of the Mazama Store, have all the fun it seems. On one wall of the place hangs a Montreal Canadiens hockey jersey. Rick has been a fan of the team since he was a youngster. Not long ago, a Canadian customer, here for a wedding, questioned Missy, Rick’s wife, about the shirt. She explained it, and by golly it turned out that the customer had season tickets for the games. Long story short, he made arrangements for Rick and Missy to have “great seats” in the second level of the first row.
The pair is back at work now after almost two weeks in eastern Canada. We forgot to ask if the Canadiens won.
Moving on to more mundane things, there are still no measurements of the snow level at Harts Pass. The snow/water equivalent measuring equipment is still working, and our current reading shows that the snow on the ground is the equivalent of 27 inches of water. The median for this date is 18.10 inches.
We’d like again to thank the intrepid people who drive the snowplows, graders and blowers, both state and county, for keeping the roads drivable. Some might complain about how long it was taking for the machinery to get to their domiciles, but these people should consider how much faster it is than having to shovel. Machinery does balk or break, and there are certain parameters that have to be considered and met when clearing the roads.
And while giving accolades, Jay Lucas deserves a bunch for daily maintenance, shovel in hands, of the disabled ramp from parking lot to door at the Mazama Store and the SLIME place of congregation beyond where the benches are frequently covered.