This winter started innocently enough. By mid February some would even say we were having below average snow accumulation. I thought, personally, we were about normal.
Then it began to snow. Not a whole lot. Three to four inches at a time. Problem was, it did this day after day. Shoveling became a chore. We raked the roof, thinking that would be the last time this winter. Then a week later we had to do it again. Then again!
Now we can no longer see the highway from our windows. The girls bedroom window is covered by ice and snow. When I drive into the Park, I can't see over the brim all the way to Pebble Creek. Neighbors lean-tos and unsupported roofs are collapsing. When our foxes visit at night, they look down into our living room.
I finally fashioned a snow-stake (I'm no longer working for the weather service), and placed it where our stake stood for several years. I was amazed to see it read 51 inches on the level. Our big snow year of 2011 it was 42 inches on the same date. I would expect it to drop dramatically as afternoon temperatures are in the mid 30's.
I made a couple of owl runs. No luck. Just like in 2011. I'll wait until the 15th to try again.
I lost a good hiking partner and friend, Steve Groat. Many old timers will remember him as the cranky guy with the white van. But he was always someone our family could count on. I could tell of our many adventures getting into and out of situations hiking into Timbered Island and grizzly country. But I think an episode that best exemplifies Steve, is a time years ago when a wet spring knocked out the phone lines in Silver Gate. Somehow he found out and drove 140 miles to get my phone up and running. (Steve worked his whole life for the phone company.) For the next week, we were the only cabin with a working phone.
Good-bye Steve and tell Glenn I said hi.