Cement from the sky

Colorado’s weather forecasters have an awful job.

Especially when they call for significant amounts of snow and nobody pays attention. That’s what happened in March when the various models used by Colorado forecasters started talking about big numbers. As the day of snowmaggedon approached, people didn’t really listen. Storms produced only fleeting amounts of snow and residents scoffed. Late in the day of the last presumed day of accumulation, Mother Nature let loose. But it wasn’t just snow it was snow mixed with cement. After two days of snow I had 3-4 feet on the ground.

But this storm was different than other snow-makers I’ve had – the snow was glaciated ice that weighed a ton and broke everything it touched.

Facebook began to fill up with pleas for plowing. People were stuck, their truck plows were broken and the stuff was too heavy to shovel. Days passed by.

Mountain living means you’re prepared – extra water on hand to flush the toilet if the electricity went out (pumps don’t work without juice), plenty of food and water, plenty of firewood and a good shovel. Nothing could prepare me for not being able to get out of my house for five days.

My new plow guy has done all right with the last few paltry snows. He can handle stuff up to a foot without much trouble. This snow broke his plow and he recommended his cousin who had a tractor. The cost? $250 just to show up and $100 per hour and any part of the hour. Desperate as I was to get out, I agreed. He was a no-show twice, no notification, no text, nothing. I fired his ass.

At 1 a.m. on day four I was cruising the local Facebook Plow Page and a guy had just posted he was on Shadow Mountain and could plow. The cost: $85. I texted him and he answered right away. He’d be there in a few hours.

The guy had the right set-up, a Bobcat with a modified, full-size truck plow on the front. Even with unloading and loading, the entire job took 20 minutes. I tried to pay him double for his work and he refused, I paid him $100 and he was happy.

Almost five feet in the back yard

I re-read some of my Twitter posts during my isolation and I sound a little depressed. It’s a lonely feeling when you’ve come to rely on people and they try and screw you over. Family was willing to come up and take me to the store but what I wanted was to go to work, drive myself around and not think twice about undercarriage clearance.

It took almost a month for the 3-4 feet of snow to melt, aided by sunny days and warmer winds.

The first thing I did after I got out was go to the store. The second thing I did was call some mountain friends and went to their house and sat on their deck and drank Evan Williams Honey Bourbon mixed with root beer. We celebrated the storm of March 2021 and its end.

We all agreed that the storm kicked our collective asses. I should have parked my car up on the road because the road got plowed, just not my driveway. I also should have purchased more chocolate and maybe even a Pepsi or two. Nothing, but nothing can compare with the scary feeling of now being able to get out.

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