Archive for February, 2008

Observations of Small Town Living (OOSTL)

Monday, February 18th, 2008

It’s Saturday and we had to get our Netflix movie to the post office. We decided to combine trips and stop at the post office in the next town over on our way (since we weren’t heading past our regular post office). We figured that if we get there before noon, we’re good. It slipped our mind that the next town is smaller than our booming town, population 768. To our amusement, we were greeted by the following ours of operation on the window. I guess we’ll not see our next video until midweek this time. Note the Saturday hours:

post office hours

If you’re wondering about the post office being closed from 12:00 to 1:00. Of course the postman (or postwoman) takes an hour off for lunch silly goose.

Observations of Small Town Living (OOSTL)

Friday, February 15th, 2008

Spring Break…Up! I was my first official sign of spring today. The road restrictions signs put up by the county have been installed on many secondary roads. Everyone here knows this process as “break up” because the roads break up literally. Some streets get so bad that they’re impassible except by larger 4 wheel drive cars.

When the restrictions are “on”, there’s a speed and weight limit on these roads. All heavy (and speedy) traffic comes to a halt until the roads thaw out – literally. The roads are now sitting on frozen ground that thaws from the top down. As it thaws, water is trapped on the surface and the road material becomes soft. Even just below paved roads. As a result, heavy vehicles, or those going too fast will damage the road which has basically become a viscous liquid (some might call it mud, and they’d be right). The locals tell me that if you’re riding in a heavy vehicle over one of these roads, the pavement in front of your buckles like a wave in front vehicle as your tires push the wave down the street. Needless to say, the damage can be pretty severe.
So much so that the county comes out an puts restriction signs up warning anyone with a heavy vehicle that they should soon move that thing or it will not be allowed to move until the roads completely thaw. It is then that the county can come out and grade the roads back into shape for the next year.

So, how do you know that the restrictions are on or off? Well, if you see a green ribbon on the road restriction sign, the restrictions are off. A red ribbon means they’re on. Yes, big-burly road-crew guys are out tying ribbons on signs all over the county.

Snow… and snow.

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Not too many topics to discuss when your life is being manipulated by record breaking snow. This is a two lane road that Gritz is sitting on. When there’s nowhere to put the snow, the roads just keep getting skinnier and skinnier.


Once in a while “Lady” (neighbors dog) comes to visit. The weather has had only one major effect on her. She has to use the roads to get to our house. No shortcuts.


This shot is on Cocolalla Lake. I’m not sure what they’re catching but this is as close as I want to get.


Grand Central Driveway

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Just a quick shot from our driveway. Since the snow is so deep, the animals are using the roads a lot to get around. Here’s a shot of our driveway. How many creatures footprints can you count?

Click to enlarge!
Answer: Dog, Deer, Moose, Thomas, Gritz (my car).

The National Guard Arrives to Help with Snow Removal

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Even back in Illinois they’re having a banner year of snow but it’s not often that a state of emergency is declared and the National Guard is called in to dig communities out. We’ve had over 100 inches of snow since December 1, with about 45 more days of snow season to go. Not since 1914 has this area seen so much snow. The last record was 1996 with 118 inches but the paper said we blew past that.

I waited out into our yard to get this shot. I’m hip deep in snow and too exhausted to get to the lower part of the yard.

House in snow

Our yard is a winter wonderland


Here’s a shot out our bedroom window.


Several roofs have collapsed under the weight of the snow. The remedy is a “roof rake” that drags the snow off the roof from the ground. People everywhere are shoveling and raking snow off their roofs. I’m just getting started in this shot


When we are lucky enough to get some sunlight, it’s breath taking.


Moon Rise

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Seeing anything other than clouds in the sky is pretty unusual lately. On Jan. 21, we got a real treat as the moon was rising up over the mountains. Here’s a shot from the back deck.

moon rise Jan. 21, 07