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Training Log Archive: Swampfox

In the 7 days ending Mar 17:


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Sunday Mar 17 #

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Day 3 in a skein of good weather--blue as blue can be skies for most of the days with only some thin, wispy clouds out late in the day. No breeze. Temps still never warmed up as much as they normally would, because of the near total snow cover remaining on the ground.

Skiing was vastly better today--everything is evened out and much less soft--and by early afternoon it was classic Spring skiing conditions in the best sense (uniform snow speed and no super fast stretches alternating with sticky sections.) The parking lot was full which surprised me. It's Spring Break, and the town pretty well empties out over the break. But of course not everyone leaves, and maybe it was that the few folks still around all had the same idea to get out and take advantage of the gorgeous day.

I ran after skiing, and the bike trails were also vastly better. Though I gave up on trying to reach the overlook I was going to run to--the last quarter mile was too soft still and it was post hole city, and going that last little bit would have doubled the length of time I was going to be out. The time didn't matter but flailing in hip deep snow is just inviting attacks from any nearby, ravenous snow snakes. And they're all always ravenous.

Saturday Mar 16 #

Note

Skied in the late afternoon. Groomers had done more work on the trails, which were still somewhat soft after they were done, and then during the day sun warmed the snow up, softening it more, and and all traffic left its impressions. By the time I was out, things were cooling down again and starting to re-freeze and were getting crusty in places. So, as one skier remarked to me as we passed--he was heading in, I was headed out--"it's challenging skiing".

Which it was, but still it was better than yesterday, and the challenging skiing was nothing compared to the running! Everywhere was soft and uneven, except for where it was icy and uneven. Where drifts had formed across the trails, there was a certain amount of post-holing no matter how gingerly I tried to sneak across.

All in all, a lovely day with full sun from start to finish, and temps that reached the upper 20s after a chilly start to the day.

Friday Mar 15 #

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The roads re-opened and I made it up to the ski trails in the late afternoon. I wasn't expecting much more than some rolled, very lumpy trails because of the amount of snowfall, and it was good to have lowered expectations because that was exactly the state of affairs up top. Maybe 1/3 of the trails had been rolled, and the snowmobiles (sans rollers) had been run around a little more trail. That left some of the trails skate skiable, but very soft and rough. Still, it was nice to get out on a perfect blue sky day that only warmed up into the 20s. 100th ski for the season.

There was a lot of new snow, but impossible to gauge how much really fell because of the drifting in the winds. My main visual check is against a certain picnic table, which proved to be entirely buried. I can't be 100% sure I've never seen it buried before, but I can't *remember* seeing it buried. Whatever the case, there is plenty of snow now for a good snow melt season, and some of the springs that only flow during spring will surely be springing up this spring. Got that?

Thursday Mar 14 #

Note

This was one storm that lived up to its (advance) reputation--surely the finest winter storm we have had since 2003. It was done by this morning, leaving *only* the aftermath to deal with.

Outside of town, the aftermath meant the highways were closed for a second day--presumably they will re-open tomorrow.

Inside of town, the aftermath varied widely depending on how a particular location slotted against the wind direction during the storm. If you were lucky, then maybe you ended up with 6"-12" of snow to deal with. If you were really, really lucky, maybe you even had small patches of bare ground. But most people were not lucky. In fact, it can not be overstated as to how unlucky most people were.

I spent several hours of Yowsa! cutting a teensy path from my garage to the street, and then ever so gradually widening that path so that eventually it could accommodate my truck. Some saint had come down one of the sidewalks early in the morning with a snowblower and had exposed enough sidewalk to allow a single file of soldiers (or snow sledders) to trod along en route to some distant destination. Or maybe it was an angel, sent over from Memphis? I spent a half hour or so enlarging that gap in the snow to allow the possibility of a double file of snow sledders (or soldiers) to march along down it.

Finally it was time to attack the remaining sidewalk, which was massively drifted behind an unbelievably awkwardly located (with respect to the wind) fence. This looked basically impossible to attack by ordinary means, so I fell back on high school chemistry and mixed up some homemade explosive using perfectly ordinary ingredients such as crushed white rice, vinegar, mustard powder, and sun dried jalapeno, all wetted down with a fairly liberal amount of nitroglycerine to form a malleable paste, and then used that to successfully blow up the snowdrifts in place while managing to not also blow up myself in place, which I deemed to be the critical part.

No doubt neighbors were startled, but probably not too startled as I have acclimatized them to such things over the years with my wretched and quite loud guitar playing. Well, what's the use of having amplifiers in the first place unless you're going to dime them? And then, what's the use of having windows if not to open them up so all the free sounds can get out?

I reckon the police didn't get more than a few dozen panicky phone calls, which hardly mattered because there was way too much snow in the streets for them to respond anyway.

There will be sunshine tomorrow, and temps not quite as cold, so hopefully winter will be forced to relent by degrees, and maybe it will even be possible to make up to Happy Jack, and see what amount of destruction the winds might have caused up there.

Wednesday Mar 13 #

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Today is blizzard (and tomorrow is not looking super great either) and outdoor activities have been limited to...looking out the door, trying to estimate whether or not it was worth checking the mailbox. Which in turn involved an estimation of whether or not the Post Office had any mail to deliver today and a secondary estimation of whether any attempt to deliver mail might have been made. There was a lot of snow. There was a lot of wind. There was a lot of snow in the wind, with horizontal components to movement of snow in the wind dominating. In the end, I determined the various factors to be considered compiled in such a way to mean that any attempt to reach the mailbox would result in near certain futility, or possibly worse. Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday Mar 12 #

Note

Quite a nice day out, mild, sunny most of the day, and dry streets. Dry streets meant I hopped on my bike and got across the river for the first time this year. As a bonus, I even made it back to the other side in good repair.

The ski trail conditions were PDG. Ran afterwards, finishing up at dusk. Having the extra hour to work with is extra nice.

Despite the sun, there was no melt water to be seen up top. Not yet.

Imorgon ska det bli helt annorlunda.

Monday Mar 11 #

Note

Mildish out with some sun and very little in the way of wind. Skis were slow on some parts of the trails. I ran afterwards on snow trails, which were somewhat soft, and ran one stretch where there was only one snow shoe pass since the last snows; that was very soft, with several spots where I post-holed. It always feels harder when you're sinking 1-2" with every step, but even so by the time I was finishing up I recognized that there was more to it than that. I was feeling more tired than normal after this kind of exercise. Probably because I had been up late the night before.

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