Friday, December 19, 2008
Snow, Part V
Guess what's back?
I took this photo on the return from my morning walk with Indy. As I am writing this, there is melting while more snow periodically drifts down. ?!!
Three inches of snow reportedly fell at the barn and Owner Susan kept the horses inside today until conditions improve. For the uninitiated, horses are subject to the same strains and sprains as humans when slipping and sliding on slick surfaces. Plus, wet and heavy snow packs in the horses' feet which can be dangerous. (Imagine trying to walk on snowballs and you get the picture.) All the stalls have been provided with buckets of water to supplement the automatic waterers. And Phantom has graciously taught his aislemates how to amuse themselves by tossing their halters and other items within reach. Keeping up with current weather conditions may be making a wreck of Owner Susan and crew, but I am confident that Phantom is in good hands.
SOAP BOX WARNING:
The local news media, per usual, went into overkill on weather coverage. Folks mumbled and grumbled about the excessive reporting from various locations in the metro area and on Mt. Hood. However, extreme weather conditions are unusual on the west side of the Cascades and with our varied landscape we have numerous mini climates. For example, while the Portland metro area experienced mixed snow and rain the other day, several inches of snow dumped north of Vancouver in the Ridgefield area. Folks planning to travel in the region need to know what kind of conditions they're traveling into.
Then there's the "I'm from ______ (fill in the blank of a location east of the Rockies) and they know how to deal with this weather there!" As a child of the Tom McCall years, my initial response is: "Go back." But that's not neighborly. So let's think about it. As mentioned above, snow storms are unusual in western Oregon and Washington. So it isn't financially responsible to have an army of snow plows and gravel trucks parked for 364 days a year. The reason I could operate my car for 18 years is because we don't salt our roads. Afterall, the snow will melt on its own in a day or two. As for the goofy "Oregon" drivers, just consider for a moment that if the compainer didn't learn to drive in Oregon, then perhaps the other driver is also from out of state. The immigrants from dryer climes can't drive in Oregon rain, either. In case you haven't noticed, it isn't flat here. While downtown streets and heavily-traveled roads may clear up quickly, numerous side streets in the metro area often remain icy and dangerous. So driving skills learned in the midwest might not help one climb Portland's West Hills, or Mt. Tabor on the east side.
So give Oregon a break. Something attracted the complainer from fill-in-the-blank to the Pacific Northwest. If you don't think we do snow correctly on the west side, then move to Enterprise or Burns. They know extreme weather.
Okay. The soap box has been put away.