I've often felt like it snowed more when I was a kid than it does now. Maybe it's global warming. Maybe it's a sun spot cycle. Maybe the photos from the Blizzard of '82 that I've looked at all these years have become worth three years of non-snowy memories. Maybe I just remember going sledding better than I remember running around on dead grass.
Whatever the reason for warm winters, this is the first season that's felt like I remember the winters of the '80s. There's a blizzard right now and the last blizzard hasn't finished melting yet. That seems to be an appropriate prototype of winter weather.
Last Thursday it was too snowy to drive to work. Instead of carpe tobagum (seize the sled), I slavishly tried to get work done all day.
The next morning was Drumming Up the Sun at Red Rocks. I woke up at 5:30 and drove to Red Rocks without a problem. I then missed the way to the top parking lot and instead turned at the sign pointing to the Upper South lot, figuring that it wouldn't be a bad walk from there up to the amphitheater. Unfortunately, the snow plow had left two feet of snow along the road, so pulling into the south lot was impossible. I continued down the road, looking for a place to turn around. As I went down the hill it got windier, blowing snow into drifts across the road. I figured I'd get down to Morrison, turn around, and go back up when I encountered an abandoned car stuck in a drift. I figured this would be a good place to turn around and attempted the maneuver. Unfortunately, I'd progressed to far into snow drift land to make that an easy task. Out came the folding army spade! 15 minutes of windy shoveling and back-forth-slide action I'd turned my car 180° and could see the sky brightening. I stepped on the gas and went nowhere. I put the Subaru in first gear and gave it a touch of gas. Still nothing. Between the hill, the blown snow, and my male-pattern balding tires (just before I was going to replace them I had $2,000 of repairs under the hood), I was stuck. So I grabbed my drum bag and walked up the hill.
Wading through ankle-deep snow I climbed the ramp and stairs and made it to the top of the amphitheater just as the sun crested the eastern horizon. I caught my breath, took a few pictures, and joined my fellow drummers for a few minutes before they all concluded and headed for breakfast. I got a ride in an SUV close to my car. I was going to try to start it again, but in the intervening time a guy in a pickup had gotten stuck in front of my car. He explained that he'd tried to go around, but that hadn't worked. Reverse also didn't work. He further explained that he was wearing sandals. Who the hell wears sandals in a blizzard? I figured the sandal man would take action to get his truck out of there, so I caught a ride to work in the SUV, figuring I could come back in the afternoon and a combination of plow and sun would have made escape easy.
Sure enough, plow and sun had improved the situation, but my car was now surrounded by plow walls. Again out came the folding army spade. I dug out the front of my car, but still couldn't get going up hill. I started to dig behind my car and the plow driver gave me a proper snow shovel. With the right tool, I was out in a few minutes, driving happily back to work.
I see about a foot of snow on my porch rail right now and it's still snowing hard. If, miraculously, it looks drivable tomorrow morning, I'll head to work; the office tends to be less distracting than home, especially if there's nobody else there. If I do stay home then by gum I'm going to carpe tobagum.