Monday, January 01, 2007

The Second (and Last) Great Denver Blizzard of Ought Six

Really wasn't all that great. By itself, it would have rated as a storm people would have talked about for a day or two, after which they'd have forgotten about it. Okay, maybe three days. However, the snow from the Really Great Denver Blizzard of Ought Six was still on the ground in many places, especially sidestreets, so this one did create problems. And of course everyone was spooked because of what had happened at the airport the week before.

We were certainly spooked. We were in Baton Rouge and were wondering if we'd be able to fly back in, and if we did, if we'd be able to drive back home.

We left on Wednesday, in the space between the end of the major airport cleanup from the previous blizzard and the beginning of the next one. We got back late Sunday evening -- later than scheduled, thanks to American Airlines' incompetence with planes and luggage. We plan to avoid AA in the future, if we can.

It didn't look as bad as we had feared. The main roads were fine, and the sideroads were, well, worse than when we left but not horrible. It was after midnight when we were approaching the house. We passed a young man who had driven deep into the snowbank beside the road and was really stuck. We tried to help him push his car out, but that was hopeless. Fortunately, another neighbor drove by in a pickup truck with a winch, so we shook hands all around and drove home. I had developed a really bad head and chest cold, and Leonore was displaying some of the early symptoms of the same thing, so I thought we'd done our neighborly part. And my shoes were filled with snow, anyway, so the milk of human kindness was freezing in my veins.

At home, we discovered that the driveway, which I'd cleared completely after the previous storm, requiring hours of shoveling to do so, now had at least eight inches of new snow in it, and that the snow plows had actually been through and had built up a small snowback at the entrance to the driveway. I took the brute force approach and gunned Leonore's Subaru through the snowback and into the driveway. Eventually, we got to bed.

This morning, I reshoveled the driveway, with many pauses to catch my breath because I felt as weak as a kitten. Now I'm feeling sorry for myself because my break is over and I had great plans for it and it was overall not much fun. Took laptop but was able to do little writing, for reasons I won't go into now. On the bright side, we had much fine seafood, and I had one cup of gumbo that I think was the best I've ever had -- and I've had a lot of gumbo over the decades in various parts of the Gulf Coast. Beaucoup seafood, I garontee, and as for that gumbo, whoee, talk about good!

We also saw lots of rain while we were in BR. There was a monster storm over the entire area, accompanied by lots of tornadoes at the Texas end of the storm. I think this was actually the southern end of the weather system that gave Denver its second blizzard. We were staying with my father-in-law and his wife, and their house is on a small lake. Picturesque, normally, but during the storm we were watching the lake creep ever closer to the house. At the front, the street had become a lake, and that was creeping closer, too. The rain stopped in time, and both lakes receded slowly, but it was exciting for a while. My f-i-l mentioned in passing that, when we went out to look at the lake more closely (from the cover of the carport), we should keep our eyes open in the pitchy dark for gators that might have left a nearby swamp to go exploring. Earlier, before the pitchy dark set in, I saw a huge snake writing around in a neighboring driveway. Fantastic food in the South, but you can have the place.

Interesting number: After the first, main bout of rain, my stepmother-in-law went out to check the rain gauge. She said it held six inches and was full, so that hours-long downpour had dumped at least six inches. Normal total annual precipitation in Denver is under 13 inches.


Lahdeedah said...

The blizzard you got was courtesy of the massive windstorm that we got in Washington (okay most of the northwest) that knocked out power for three days to a week. (three days for me)

I'm back to writing after lots of drama, the end result of which, hey, we're moving to Colorado!

Go write.

(yes I lurk on your blog)

David said...

Thanks for continuing to lurk. This blog has so few visitors that I panic when I think that one has paid only a visit or two and then got bored and left.

We used to dream of moving to the Northwest, which in our case meant BC, but with the weather patterns apparently changing, maybe we'll just stay where we are.

Nifty that you're moving here. Whereabouts?

Lahdeedah said...

We're going to end up somewhere between Boulder and Denver, probably Longmont or Westminster. My spousal unit is working in Louisville right now, so we're looking around there.

Weather up north, from Oregon to B.C.... Windy windy windy... we're getting pommeled with wind and rain again tonight. Then, you're getting more snow....

...and your blog isn't boring.

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