Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Big Snow 2014

Around 2 am this morning, I was out checking on three very pregnant cows, two of whom seemed to be threatening to drop their calves a week and two weeks early, respectively.  I saw the lightest dusting on the ground, figured it might just be frost as it was 20 degrees out and the snow wasn't supposed to start until much later in the day.  And then the flakes started hitting my face. 
By the time we hit the road for the morning packwalk, there was a fair bit on the roads but the grass was pretty patchy.  About 0915, I called US Bank in Corvallis to make sure we were still on for our important meeting this morning, and Keo said sure are, but you might better come in while you can, they were going to shut down early.  That was a good clue that things were going to get a little messy out there.
By the time Really Big Red (6WD dually SuperDuty), Cricket and I rolled into the bank's parking lot, the snow was over the top of my Muck boots.  The 15 mile trip had taken me almost an hour.  We took care of business, and I knew that I had better hit Safeway on the way home to pick up some supplies, because supposedly the worst is yet to come.  I also hit Les Schwab and got Really Big Red fitted with chains, as even with 6WD, conditions were not conducive for keeping things on the straight path.  On the way up, 2 big rigs jackknifed.  On the way home, a Dodge dually, much like RBR, in a ditch.  I cut off of Hwy 99 and slid over to Bellfountain Road on Airport Road, stopping several times to tighten the new chains and take a few pictures.  It took over 1.5 hours to get home, and most of the time I was plowing new ground on the road.
But you simply cannot believe how gorgeous it is in spite of all the inconvenience and trouble it causes.  The absolute hush, all the mud and stuff covered in an unbroken (for the most part around here) blanket of thick, white frosting.  And I gotta say this - after slogging out to the south pasture to make sure the water was available, toss some more hay out and remove probably a ton of snow from the canopy, I have a grand respect for anyone who slogs thru 12" or more of snow for more than 5 minutes without dropping dead of heart failure.  THAT was a workout and then some!
Just a friendly warning - there are a TON of pictures, so click the first one to start the slideshow and watch it on a big monitor for the best pictures.  And don't forget to visit the dogblog at for just as many cool dog shots!
 Did finally make it to 22 about 3
 The first inkling of trouble was stepping out of the dually and sinking nearly to my knees in snow in the bank parking lot
 Checking the new chains for tightness
 This is exactly what it looked like thru the windscreen
 'Honest officer, I have plates and my lights do work, I swear!'
 That ancient Oregon white oak is just too awesome in the snow

 In case you were wondering, this is a 50 pound block of salt and minerals for the cows in the maternity pasture
 Ruffie and granddaughter Hilda hang in the snow
 Roar shows off his icicles
 Trying to show how deep it is.  I could barely wedge the gate open enough to get thru
 Pepperpot the goat's nose

 You know I can't help myself.  The little hats of snow on the posts was just too much fun to pass up


 I didn't have to wait but one day to see the new wrought iron fence with snow on it, a classic look


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