Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Gold Country Snow Day

Good morning. Gold Country Sister Tina here. I am going to show you pictures and tell you about our California Snow Day, December 7, 2009. I realize there are many of you out there who get more snow than we did, more often. But we don't, so our 12 inches was a lot to see and deal with. As we were growing up in Placerville we had snow every winter, usually about 6, 7, 8 inches at the most. When my husband and I lived in Diamond Springs we had snow, the most was 18 inches, twice, which was a lot for the area, they blamed it on Alaskan storms. When we lived in Cedar Grove, which is between Camino and Pollock Pines we had two storms that dumped 3 and 1/2 feet on us, and buried my Karmann Ghia so that you couldn't even tell it was parked there. But since we have lived in Kelsey, almost 11 years, the most snow we have had was 3 inches, and it didn't even last the day. So we were excited. Add to that the fact we had no electricity, which meant no water, it made us feel like we were pioneers who had to fight the elements to live. Not really, but it was fun for a day.
My husband was up early, 4:15 am. (that is when the power went out) and started his plan of attack to get to work in Placerville, only about 10 miles away, but those were going to be hard miles. Highway 193 is hard enough to drive in good weather, so he knew he had his work cut out for him before he even got to work! The night before he had parked our trusty 1984 four wheel drive Toyota pickup in the driveway so it would be ready.
His first attempt to go to work was about 5:30 am. He put the truck in 4 wheel drive and headed up the driveway. He got to the first curve and try as he might, he could not get past it. It was just enough too steep and too much of a turn to make it. So he backed up and came back. Next plan of attack, he decided to go ahead and put chains on his Toyota Camry. So that was a project, he had to get the lantern out to see in the garage to get the chains on. So about 6:00 am or so, he kissed me goodbye again and headed up the driveway, as I watched from the upstairs window. He drove out of sight! I went into the bedroom and got dressed. Quite a while later I heard the garage door open. He had made it out of our driveway, to our street, and half way up the hill and that was it. So he decided to make some coffee and plan his next attempt. The third time is the charm, right?
He traipsed out to the shed by the garden for the camping supplies and got our aluminum coffee pot. After a failed attempt at using the backpacking stove he started up the burner on the gas barbecue on the deck and made coffee. It sure tasted good!
After he had a cup of coffee, he put chains on the 4 wheel drive truck and decided that was the ticket, he was headed off to work this time for sure. So I kissed him goodbye again, and he headed off, up the driveway, out of sight.
Quite a while later, after I had been out taking pictures, fed the dog, had more coffee, and kept the woodstove going, my husband returned. He had made it out the driveway, up our road, turned onto the "big" road which goes out to the county roads, and then couldn't make it up the very first hill, so he didn't even get as far as our closest neighbor. He went in to have some coffee and think about how he was going to get to work in Placerville, when he couldn't even get 1/4 mile from our house. After he had gotten back I went out to take more pictures of the snow. While standing in our driveway I heard a small cracking and then one very loud ka-pop. A large limb of an oak tree about 15 feet from me came down and landed across the driveway. It also knocked our "Placerville" sign completely upside down so it was pointing the wrong way. Well, that was the sign from above that maybe he wasn't going to work after all.
So after a bit of a rest, he headed out to get the tree out of the driveway. He also had to cut up part of a tree which fell on the other side of the driveway, since it landed on a deodora cedar and was knocking it over.
My job was to take lots of pictures. Here is our swing and bench, often enjoyed by the granddaughters and nieces and nephews in the spring and summer. Anyone care to take a ride?
These benches overlook the South Fork of the American River. Would you like to come and sit a spell and enjoy the view?
This is our house at about 8 am that morning. We were very happy to have a wood stove for heat since the furnace uses electricity to get started. We have a gas water heater and would have had hot water if the well didn't depend on electricity to run.
This is my Welsh Corgi Robbi (Duke Robin Hood of Kelsey) checking out the snow. He was very much into it- in more ways than one, since it was almost over his head at 1 foot. It is a good thing that he only weighs 26 lbs. so he didn't sink all the way down.
Not too much leg room when you have those little tiny cattle-herding sized legs!
Robbi made great trails all over our 10 plus acres. They were useful to me when I wanted to go out to take pictures. I still managed to fall down twice, but the snow was very soft.
Luna was not too into the snow, she wouldn't even try to walk in it. But she did have a good seat under the hummingbird feeder on the front porch.
The hummingbirds enjoyed the not-yet-frozen feeder.
Unfortunately for the other birds, I had not yet refilled the bird feeders, so they were left to scrounge underneath the truck and on our porch and deck for their food.
Cheshire Cat was not sure about the snow, although he checked out the front porch steps to see if they were passable.
He decided they weren't and insisted he be let back in. Later, when it was dark, he tried again. He managed to jump off the end of the porch and then he disappeared. I called him when I was about to go to bed. He didn't come. I called again. Finally I heard a plaintive meow from under the porch. He came out but wouldn't come up the steps. So I had to put on my boots, walk down the steps (dressed in my pajamas and robe) and follow him through the snow around the house and garage, and back up the steps to the deck where he finally came inside. That was it for his trip into the snow. I don't think he will ever attempt it again.
We had a great day. We finally managed to make it out to our road and visited our neighbors who had a generator going. We took wine and chips and my salsa, and had a great time. They even had their TV going and they had water! Later we came home just before the sunset, took more pictures, and cooked chicken on the gas barbecue. Our snow day was done. The power came back on at about 9:30 that night. We were already in bed.


Lorlore said...

Beautiful photos Tina!! I too had a snow day as power outages were throughout the town of Placerville. Thank goodness for wood stoves, I did coffee on it and soup!! I worked on Christmas cards all day in front of my big window for light! The snow sure was pretty but what a mess it left!!!

Heidi Ann said...

Oh, what gorgeous pictures! I thoroughly enjoyed every line of your story of the Gold Country Snow Day in Kelsey. Thank you for braving the cold and snow to photograph it for us!

yosemite faith said...

great photos and enjoyed seeing your furry friends. you do a great post tina!

Anthony said...

What a GREAT account of your snow day, Tina! Such beautiful scenic pictures, too! A few of them would even make wonderful postcards...

Your husband sure is a real trooper, not to mention a dedicated employee! I would've just called-in SICK that day. No way I'd risk MY life driving in those conditions, just to get to work!

It was fun to see Luna & Cheshire, again! And getting to see Robbi out frolicking in the snow was a real treat. :)

You have such a beautiful life!

Twyla and Lindsey said...

Wow! Beautiful pictures of yor snow! Twyla

Jennifer D said...

Wow, you have one tenacious hubby!
Great story and beautiful photos. I love your VIEW!!!