Blizzard blogging

| December 21, 2006

[FINAL UPDATE: 5:17 pm on 12/21/06]: Last few photos.
[UPDATED 12:10 pm on 12/21/06]: Yet more photos.
[UPDATED 9:00 am on 12/21/06]: I’ve added more photos.
[UPDATED 7:34 am on 12/21/06]: I’ve added photos.

Well, we were planning to be in San Diego for Christmas (we being myself, my wife Sandra and our daughter Emily). However, if you’ve been watching the news, you know that the entire Denver metropolitan area is largely shut down right now due to a blizzard that started early Wednesday morning and is still going on (though tapering off and due to end by noon today). I got confirmation last night from American Airlines that our flight this afternoon had been canceled and that the earliest we could get out would be Christmas Day itself — which is when we were planning to come back, due to Emily’s work schedule. It could be worse, though; there are currently some 4700 people stranded at Denver International Airport, some of whom won’t be able to get a flight out for 2-3 more days. There are also hundreds of abandoned cars on streets and freeways around the city. At least we’re home, warm, with power, water, food, and plenty of firewood.

As I write this (about 7 am on Thursday), snow is still falling and the wind is still blowing. The strong winds (over 30 mph through much of yesterday) left many places bare and created large drifts elsewhere. Fortunately, I ran out early yesterday and bought a snowblower at Home Depot. I suspect it will take me several hours to clear our (rather long) driveway, especially given the heavy drifting near the top of the driveway.

Here’s what our deck looks like:

Mind you, this is all snow that has falled since about 5 am yesterday.

Here’s what the area outside our front door and garage looks like:

Doesn't look too bad from here...

What this picture doesn’t show is that all the snow that should have been piled up here is instead piled up off to the right of the picture, at the top of the driveway. Several weeks ago, when we got about 5″ of snow with the same sorts of winds, we ended up with a drift that was about 8′ by 8′ by 3′ deep at the top of the driveway. We’ve had somewhere over 24″ of snow fall in the last 24 hours; I can hardly wait to see what the drift is like.

Here’s another shot of the deck:

Here’s another example of how the constant winds out of the north kept some areas of the property relatively bare of snow:

…while other areas have drifted significantly:

That faint trench to the right is where I cleared a path to the back lawn (down to the grass level) for our dogs last night. You can see how much has filled in since then.

After taking that photo, I re-dug the trench, so you can see just how deep the snow is (that’s Wingnut in the picture; she’s now as large as Deacon and Laverne):

At least one of our dogs is not afraid of the snow...

Below is our trusty new snowblower. I used this for over an hour around noon yesterday to help keep our driveway open until Emily could come back home (from rescuing someone else). When I came inside, I had ice frozen in my beard.

It’s hard with the lighting to get a sense of how deep the snow is; here’s the front parkway again, with a snow shovel for reference. Most of the area in front of our garage is covered with 2′-4′ of snow:

And here’s a drift that is at least 5′ deep:

The top of our driveway is just on the other side of this drift. After taking this picture, I walked around to the other side — I sank beyond mid-thigh in snow without my feet ever reaching the driveway surface. Glad I had Emily pick up an extra 5 gallons of gasoline on her last run out yesterday; I’ll need it for the snowblower.

Right now, the wind has largely died down, but the snow is still falling steadily, and we’re getting 1″-2″ covering places that were bare as of early this morning.

[12:10 pm, 12/21/06]. As per the statement above, here’s a new picture of the back porch (compare with the 4th picture from the start of this post):

Snowflakes are fallin' on my head...

Wingnut (Winnie) and Moonbat (Marti) find the snow fascinating:

Wingnut keeps sticking her nose in the snow

In the meantime, I’ve spent the last hour or two with the snowblower trying to clear off the driveway area in front of the garage. I have quite a ways to go:

Note the height of the drift

And, of course, that doesn’t include the driveway itself, which is about 150-200 yards long.

Enough snow for now; here are some gratuitous puppy photos. First, here’s Wingnut who is now larger than Deacon and as long as Laverne (though not quite as heavy):

Moonbat, on the other hand, remains quite small, weighing about half as much as Wingnut. Here she is in front of the fire with Laverne (to the left) and Deacon (to the right):

[5:17 pm, 12/21/07]

OK, I’m done for the day. At this point, I think it will take me all day tomorrow to get the driveway cleared. Here’s how far I got today — note the depth of the snow:

I need a larger snowblower

See the pine tree to the right? Now look at the following photo, taken from the base of our driveway; you can see the same pine tree by the right side of the house:

The long and winding road

Of course, this being Colorado, it’s impossible to go two consecutive days without seeing some blue skies and sunshine. This is one reason why Sandra and I love it so much here, even with the occasional snowstorm:

Doesn't get much prettier than this

Now to warm up by the fire. ..bruce..

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Category: Blizzard, Main, Personal

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at bwebster@bfwa.com, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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