Sunday, December 28, 2008

Stuck in the Northwestern Snow

If any of you haven't been watching the weather or haven't been outside for the last week or two, you wouldn't know that this week has seen some pretty remarkable weather in the western United States. Up in our neck of the woods, this has gone down in the books as one of the worst snow storms in Washington in decades. I think that this whole think gas been put on so that Chelsea and I wouldn't feel out of place. The amount of snow that has fallen is nothing we wouldn't deal with in a normal winter in Utah, so I'm sure it's meant to ease our transition to northwestern life.

Being that the weather has been so remarkable, it comes as no surprise that the local infrastructure is woefully unprepared to deal with it. As a result, you end up with a nice 2" ice pack forming on the streets. Add to that the widely varied topography of the region and you end up with some dangerous situations. Not to worry, though, the Landcruiser did exactly what it was designed to do: get where I want to go no matter what is happening with the weather. Praise Landcruiser.

Due to the snow we had two full snow days and two partial snow days. December 21, church was cancelled because of the impassible roads. December 22, the shipyard called a curtailment, and both December 23 and 24 we had a two hour delay in the start of work. It was not the most effective work week. What a mess.

Speaking of the mess, here are some pics:
This is the lawn outside our apartment. Someone built this nice snowman for us. It was quality work. The complex next to ours had this cool fountain installed only a couple of months ago. They didn't turn it off, and I think that's what saved it from destruction. This is that same snowman from above after only a few days. As you can see, the fate of a snowman here is dire and inescapable. It shouldn't be too long now before we can get back to a normal Washington winter.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Arctic Blast" Northwest Style

Man, did we luck out. Everybody thought we were crazy, but the second Saturday in every month is Scout Saturday and I'll be danged if any cold weather was going to stop us for having our outing. All day last Friday it was rainy and crappy, but we perservered. We still planned on going camping, no matter the odds. Fortunately for us, the stars aligned and we only had to deal with cold temperatures. We got rained on for about 15 minutes on the whole trip.

Saturday was cold, but still not bad. Then Sunday morning we woke up to an inch of snow on the ground and you would have thought that it was a foot the way some people were acting (church attendance was down about 30%). So we lucked out and missed the bad weather by one day.

I understand that this kind of cold is very unusual for this part of the country. In all honesty, I don't miss the bitter cold of winter in Utah and this week has helped me remember that. The climate with a much smaller temperature swing from the highest of the year to the lowest suits me very well so far. Hopefully this Arctic Blast will blow over soon and we'll be able to get down to some more camping in January and February.