Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mother of a Commute : Ice Road Trucking in PA

Obligatory comments on the weather. We have had weekly (for the past 6 weeks) storms that have caused many problems around these parts. Especally for the daily morning commute. I have a 26 mile drive over farm country on a couple of two lane roads which is normally a peacefull drive if not lovely. However, when you add a whole lot of snow and now ice, well that peacefull and lovely get replaced by nerve racking, scary and downright dangerous. Still lovely though. Here are some pictures:

This is what I woke up to a little over a week ago, this was the 26th of January. This was maybe 14 to 16 inches of new snow. The great climate scientists of our day had predicted this to be a "rain" event. Here is what my Pond and back yard looked like over this last weekend. The blow hole there is made from a bubbler I have in the pond. My Koi are down there somewhere, they have survived 15 years of winters and we have had worse so I am not too concerned. Here is what I faced yesterday morning. This is what 1 Inch of ice looks like. That driveway slants down too by the way. It was completely covered in ice. I could not open the doors on the car as they were iced over. This is the tree in our Front yard, it is laden with ice. As the wind blew you could hear little snapping sounds of ice breaking. Later in the day it was all falling off and by 5:00pm the ice was completely off the tree.
Below is the Blue Heron "force field" deployed over the pond to defend the pond from the feathered devils that enjoy the Koi who cannot flee for their lives. The netting is solid with ice and heavy too. The pole on the left of this photo that holds up the left corner would eventually pull out of the ground and the nets would lay down on the top of the frozen pond. I'll have to dig the pole a new hole and pour in more cement to hold it down. Or I could pull in thoes nets and risk the open and free feeding of the Blue Herons, I am sure they would appriciate the free food.
Here is one of the roads I travel on to get to work. Of the 26 miles I travel about 24 of them are over roads that look like this. Its a pretty drive when the road is not covered in snow or ice.
This mornings drive was broken up with some debris, here a huge brand off that tree was blocking both lanes. I got out and draged this out of the way. It was heavy with both its raw size and with ice.
Oh the lovely site out the window in the area that is called Greshville Village. It is lovely.

White knuckle driving all the way, took a little over an hour. The power was out in the immediate area where my Work is and the power company had no idea when they couuld get around to restoring it. So I worked off my laptop for about 4 hours before they let us go home. It was actually getting cold in the building and with no estimate that power would return there was no point.
The dirve home was much less dramatic since we had a temprature change of some 7 to 10 degrees. By night fall the roads were all dry.

The long range forcast shows another storm coming our way for tomorrow night (that is long range around here). Just in time for the weekend. I'll be able to sleep in and not worry about the drive to work.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

1 comment:

Buck said...

Dang, Jimmy! Ice is pretty, BUT... and you illustrated the "but" perfectly. I'm glad you made it through that stuff OK.