January 2004 Winter Storm

Quotable Storm Quotes:

• “Keep your crampons and ice axe handy, even if you havenʼt used them in 20 years,” said by Seth Tane, who used them to rescue his son and elderly dog who had slipped down an embankment.
• “Don't ever give away your old golf shoes to Goodwill,” said by Laura Goldfarb, wishing for a pair of shoes with cleats.
• “Don't store your chains and emergency gear in the car truck,” said by Pat Brady, after working to chip ice off her car for two days before she could open up the trunk door.

Snow Storm Story from the Skyline Hamlet

After the storm dropped its first 10 inches or so of snow, all of us in our small 10-house hamlet on Skyline were out trying to dig out to the road. It seemed a hopeless task; we had managed to dig out a narrow pathway to get to the mailbox. Then appeared our angel disguised as Dave with his 1950 Ford tractor with a blade attached. He proceeded to clear out all the driveways that he could. After the next snow, we tried to dig out around our mail box but found the ice pile left by the snow plows was impossible to conquer. Angel Dave appeared once again, and, with neighbors guarding his path from on-coming traffic, dug out all the mail boxes from behind the snowplowʼs remains so that mail could be delivered. One loud chorus of thanks goes to Dave Saylor.

Speaking of deliveries, our paper deliverer missed only one day. He delivered to us even on days when he had to crawl over the snow to get to our box. From Karen Smith, Skyline Blvd.

Upper Rock Creek Road Storm Experience

Have you noticed our new carport? One of our cars was damaged by falling limbs ($4,400 repair!) during the snow and we decided to “get smart” for the future. Also bought a chainsaw to limb the trees.... Mary across the street had a tree land on her house and puncture the roof. She moved in with us for two nights. No power but we did have heat (wood stove), hot food (propane kitchen stove) and company (Mary). Three and a half year old Anna thought the whole thing was a grand adventure! From Sara Bowersox, Rock Creek Road

Laurel’s Winter Storm Journal Entries

January 1, 2004:
Amelia is an outside cat. Even though sheʼs a survivor of a Bobcat assault that viciously tore her up, she prefers the freedom of outside. She likes to be in control. Please don't pick me up, I like my paws on the ground - thank you very much. She's not like a wild feral cat. She likes people contact very much. I've invited her in several times but she always says no thank you - why don't you come out here and pet me? If I should pick her up and “force” her into the house, she'll scramble to get out of my arms and go straight to the door to be let out. She loves to join the dogs and me as we go for our morning walk around the orchard. It reminds me of the movie Homeward Bound with the two dogs and the cat. I have to be careful not to step on her as she weaves in and out of my strides. She runs ahead to jump up on opportune “petting spots” (old cars, feeders, anything in my path that makes it easy for me to reach her) and goes into a purr as soon as I touch her.

It snowed - Considerably deeper than a cat's belly. She does not like it. She's mewing away. I check her food, water, dry spots etc. Mew, mew, mew, at the front door, at the back door, mew, mew, mew. I try to bring her in again, nope. I think she wants me to make the snow go away! Mew, mew, mew. Itʼs morning walk time. I head for the orchard. The dogs do as dogs do in the snow. Romp, roll, bite and chase. What fun! What fun! Mew, mew, mew. In what I am as­suming will be another futile attempt, I pick her up expecting her to immediately scramble out of my arms, but no, she settles right into a purr as I scratch her chin and we enjoy each other's warm bodies and the crunch of the snow. Never once did she ask to be put down.

January 5, 2004:
Itʼs STILL snowing. I've lived here for over 25 years and I've never enjoyed the snow so much. Or maybe thatʼs just a blessing of middle age. Your memory goes waaaay south! So, maybe there were other snows that I enjoyed just as much but I just don't remember them. I've got the Christmas lights up in the yard. Not a lot. Just a small ornamental maple, an 8-foot camellia and a pair of those store bought lit up wire deer things. The snow is the type that is perfect for giving a flocked look to the trees. It looks magical as the multi­colored lights reflect off the snow from all sides. At dusk and dawn, when there is enough light to see the green of the camellia, is when the light show is at its best. The reflecting quality of the snow lights up the whole yard. It's freezing cold out and normally and I would have every blind drawn and every door stoop blocked in this drafty old single window paned house. But I can't close out those beautiful lights! I leave them on 24/7 so I don't miss a minute of their beauty. I especially love coming home in the evening to be greeted by the twinkling. We live 14 miles out on Skyline Boulevard. There aren't that many houses out here. We are also in the middle of a sharp corner in the road. The result is you come around a blind corner and BLAM - Christmas lights. In the middle of nowhere. At the neighborhood New Year's Eve party, we were asked if we've been pulling cars out of the ditch in front of the house. The implication is, the lights are so pretty it's hard to pay attention to your driving. For sure, those lights will not be coming down until the snow is gone! I now know what all of those Christmas cards are trying to depict.

January 9, 2004:
Classic Oregon silver thaw. The trees were heavily laden in ice. A foot of snow is covered with an inch of ice. I throw food out for the birds and they are having a heck of a time sliding around out there. The dogs want no part of it. The outside cat has moved into the basement. Tony is 17 and this is the first time in his life that he has been able to appreciate ice like this. I send him out. He doesn't believe me when I tell him heʼll be able to walk on the ice. He tries and does and falls and laughs. But man, it is so gorgeous! Every branch, leaf and twig coated with a thick layer of ice. Icicles up to 3 feet long are hanging from the house, growing, diminishing, dripping, glistening. It's magical. Itʼs finally melting. Actually, it started last night. Periodically, I stepped outside last night just to listen. Being careful to stay under the cover of the eaves of the house, I just stood there and listened to the trees sloughing off their burden of ice. A wind has come up to assist. I watch and worry. They droop to the ground from the weight. I wonder, “Will they shed their ice or just snap under the pressure?” It is such a unique sound. What could you compare it to? What would a movie sound creator put together to make such a sound? Itʼs not just ice on ice, but that is part of it. The evergreen trees muffle the harshness of the ice, but the deciduous trees magnify it. Then there is the occasion­ally “CRACK” of a branch that is sudden enough to make one startle in response. I made Tony step outside just to listen. “Tony, you got to hear this. Itʼs like nothing else you'll ever hear.” He obliged me and pretended it was no big deal. It is a curiosity to me how the powers of nature that are so destructive have such beauty attached to them. A thunderstorm, an iceberg, a lava flow, a deep crippling snow fall, a silver thaw… So unique to Oregon.
From Laurel Erhardt, Skyline Blvd.

Don’t Leave The Generator in the Barn

A storm hint - Do not leave your huge generator down at the barn during a snow storm! A generator so large, that it is on a trailer and a tractor is needed to pull it to the house when the need arises. A generator that COULD supply the whole house with all the electric you could need or want...... Don't leave it at the barn...especially dur­ing a snowstorm. No matter if your husband says “Don't worry! The tractor CAN make it through snow! Besides...the snow storm wonʼt be THAT bad...” Curious...the tractor cannot pull a generator up to the house on a driveway that has on it, over a foot of snow and 4 inches of ice on top of that snow! Snowbound? Two days without electricity in a snow storm? Big generator snowbound at the barn? That is what Coleman stoves, warm jackets, gloves, scarves, flashlights, candles, booze and cards are for! Marriage bonding at its best! Ahhh! Yet an­other life lesson is learned ....as always...the hard way! Is there any other way?
From Vickie Coghill of Rock Creek Road

Adventures on a Long, Slippery Driveway

• We were an interesting study in Skyline Ridge lore as we ferried our garbage and recycle containers up the snowy steep quarter-mile driveway, bungee-corded to Roger's vintage Flexible Flyer sled! Of course, the garbage truck did not come for another week.
• Our Subarus were parked at the top of the drive during the snow challenge. Every morning for a week we trudged the quarter mile up to the cars, balancing ourselves, our briefcases and our bags of shoes. In the evening, we slid back down on foot to the house. One night we brought home a pizza! What were we thinking? Roger managed to deliver it intact! Needless to say, we made no unnecessary car trips during the snow siege and tried to remember not to bring home any unusually heavy or bulky items. Carol Wilkerson, Skyline Blvd.

Poem

Pipes are frozen. The Internet too. All night icy branches crackle and crash. Inside, the crackle of the glowing orange fire is a delight.
From Brad Ganz, Skyline Blvd.

ARRRRGG!! Bah Humbug!

As co-editor of the Ridge Runner, I read how beautiful the snow was and how you enjoy it during middle age. Well for me, it was a life changing experience! Never again will I have ongoing construction with broken water pipes everywhere. Never will I have 34 horses, which would have suffered, if it wasn't for the help of Dexter Bacon, Mary Cameron, Leslie Grelle, Ted Luther and Luis Cuello's crew. Hay and shavings trucks couldn't deliver. Ted hand loaded hay onto my pick-up truck every other day. Luis's crew came every day except for two. Dexter, Mary, Leslie and I literally sat down and slid down the hill to get to the barn. It took three of us to slide a 132-pound hay bale on top of the ice. We all survived, but it took me at least a month before I could laugh about it. While the memory is fresh, I am madly installing heaters, Wersbow pipe (it expands when it freezes), and am planning to install the China diesel we purchased years ago.

We also owe a great deal of thanks to PGE and their hard working crews. I was amazed and appreciative that they restored everyone's power so quickly. To all those that helped others during the storm, THANK YOU SO MUCH! From Karin Hunt, Rock Creek
RR02-04