October 26 Winter isn’t sneaky — it’s slammin’

Winter’s first blow

Wow. Winter didn’t pull any punches with its introduction. It hit us hard, and it’s still two months until the first calendar of winter.

The blizzard rolled all day and tonight it’s slow going on Highway 83 at Wilton.  Trucks are still doing their thing, but a few have decided it’s not worth it. So, they pulled in to the Wilton Cenex truck stop.

I wasn’t sure what I’d find to photograph when I went out, but had hoped to catch some snow plows working Highway 83.  I gave up after about 10 seconds. I’m not used to this cold, yet.  So, I captured these images to show what we are in for until spring.

In a way, I find it a bit exciting to be challenged like this by winter, but it’s also groan-worthy because I know it’s going to be a long winter ahead.

And just as conflicted as I am about winter, I’m conflicted about the Wilton City street crew.  Yes, they do a great job of clearing the streets,but dang, a full 6 months of this is gonna be hard on my back — cleaning out the end of my driveway every time the snow plow goes by.

The morning after the night before

(Actually, this shot belongs with tomorrow’s entry, but I thought it was fitting to put it here to give a glimpse of the “aftermath” of this Intro to Winter 101 course.)

April 3

Boy was I surprised to come home from western North Dakota to find this!  A spring snow storm in the central part of the state while I had been out shooting a custom motorcycle, enjoying a ride down the road while other parts of the state were tossed back in to winter.

I hadn’t even been able to get home because a large transmission line carrying power to Minnesota and other eastern states had been taken down by the snow and wind, and Highway 83 was blocked.

I should have suspected there was something back home that was not right. When I got to New Salem I could see toothpicks sticking out of the new snow. They were power poles that had been snapped off.

Power was out in many of the towns on the western edge of the storm and for good reason. Those wooden poles could not stand up to the 6 inches of heavy wet snow and 40 mile an hour winds.

I couldn’t get directly home because of the downed power lines, but took a back road route up the Missouri River across the prairie to my home, only to find that the streets had been plowed,  but access to my home was shut off.  I only had to wait a day or two until it all melted.

Such is the short lifespan of spring snow storms in North Dakota.