Who says the pioneer spirit in Oregon died out with the pioneers? It was alive and well today on what many are calling our state's 2012 snow-pocalypse.
Though for some reason, many also are not.
Hopefully these photos of my personal snow-pocalypse will change the minds of skeptics who doubt the severity of our recent weather emergency.
My better judgment said, "Stay inside during this wild storm." My daring heart, along with a forlorn looking family pet, said "Risk your life and go for a dog walk." Given the inclement weather, even our dog, Serena, looked unsure about our chances for survival as we left the house (note curled tail).
During the first stage of our two-mile walk we had to blaze a trail along what would have been a snow-covered road, if there had been snow actually covering it. Nonetheless, snow had begun to cover Serena's back. I began to wonder how long a dog covered in fur, and with a husky'ish tail, could survive in 38 degree conditions. After all, by the time this photo was taken we had been walking in the rural south Salem wilderness for at least ten minutes.
Soon our surroundings became completely snow-covered. It was still possible to make out our route, barely, but even the dog was showing signs of disorientation. Her footprints indicate that she'd been walking in circles. I realized that if we were going to make it home, I couldn't depend on her canine instincts.
Dog and man walked on together, leaving a trail that, at the rate the snow was falling, likely would be completely covered up in a time range that I estimated from never to several days. Still, the thought that an extinguishing of all trace of our passing could theoretically occur filled me with existential angst. I yearned to be able to chat with Sartre about this over a strong cup of expresso.
Eventually we reached a point in our adventure where dog and man had to leave the road and enter unmarked territory. Or at least barely-marked, since we only had a sign and several tall fences to guide us across snow-covered grassy ground.
Miraculously, the dog regained her homing instincts and guided me to where I could catch a glimpse of home. At this point I felt like we were going to make it, though I recognized that nothing is certain in a storm of the intensity we were out in.
Having endured such hardships on our trek through the snow, our home's familiar surroundings took on a special appearance with the realization that, against all odds, I'd be able to enjoy them for a while longer.
A favorite tree in our back yard looked beautiful in the snow that just a few short minutes ago had seemed so treacherous.
Our little pond welcomed me home with bubbling arms. As did our three goldfish, still swimming about (and barely visible in the photo).
Lost in my "How did we survive?" reveries, I turned and realized that I had forgotten about my loyal canine companion, who now was huddling beneath the eaves, undoubtedly dangerously close to hypothermia. Or, perhaps more likely, Feed me my damn dinner'ia.
But before I prepared Serena's food, I knew I had to document the intensity of this snow-pocalypse for those who were lucky enough to escape it, and would know of this memorable weather event only through tales like mine. Here is a ruler showing the snow depth on our deck. Certainly over 1/4 inch; probably closer to 1/2 inch.Who knows how much deeper drifts got?
Anyway, those worrying about our safety now should be reassured.
But the AccuWeather app on my iPhone indicates more severe weather is heading our way tomorrow: four-tenths of an inch of snow is forecast. Four-tenths. With two-tenths more on Tuesday. This means that over the three days this storm has ravaged our area, we could be digging out of an inch of snow, total.
Somehow, we shall endure. Somehow.
I one worked with a Cuban immigrant who "escaped" (?) from Cuba right before Fidel Castro took control of the country. If memory serves, that would have been in the very early 1960's.
He told me that he had seen pictures of snow in textbooks as a child. When he came to America, he did not stop for long in Miami but was hustled up to the New York area in search of employment.
He told me that he cried like a baby when he experienced the first snowfall of his life. The beauty of it was overwhelming.
Posted by: Willie R | January 17, 2012 at 08:32 AM