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Friday, April 17, 2009

Spring blizzard

Yesterday's build-up of the snowstorm, in terms of looming dark clouds and light snow, finally became a true storm last night. We took the three lab rascals for a hike in a thin layer of snow. In the evening, the local news was hyping the storm non-stop. As we watched the forecast, S wanted to go out but we asked him to wait until after the weather forecast. He pulled the trick that's topped his list of favorites for years - if the humans are staring at the TV, stand in front of it!This morning, we awakened to almost a foot of snow. My husband and the labrador trifecta beat me out the door but we met up for some skiing together. Doggy ecstacy dominated a ski tour of our trails. Snow makes our dogs crazy with goofy energy to bound and play. In the photo below, they jointly carry a stick while porpoising through the snow.For some inexplicable reason, S's joints bother him less in the snow than on dry ground. It's been true for the past couple of years - our vet just shakes her head with disbelief. S stayed in my husband's tracks - but spent an hour trotting behind us in a foot of snow.

So far, S's experiment with prednisone seems great. He's always drunk water obsessively so we haven't noticed the side effect of 'excessive drinking and urination'. We have noticed a bounce to his gait that we haven't seen for years. We can't tell if it's shrinking his tumor or lymph nodes, which is the goal, but the lack of bad side effects is promising.

After my husband and S headed home, the two younger labs and I explored some more trails. The heavy snow muffled all sound, and the wild animals were invisible - no tracks and no noises. I wondered if an animal was hiding high in a tree because of R's determination to investigate it. However, the heavy snow hanging from the pine boughs obscured my view of the branches.

As we skied, snow fell hard and fast. In fact, it fell so fast that my ski tracks were filled in with new snow on the way home. The weather stations say that it's falling at up to 3" per hour. K and R actually look a little dubious of the conditions in the photo below.When we arrived home from our ski, the power was out, and stayed out for close to 8 hours. I predict that it won't be on for long - a tree just fell on the wires by the road near our house. But, I managed to dash off a post while the power was on (our internet connection requires power).

At this moment, much to my surprise, it seems that the TV stations under-predicted the storm. We have around 3' on the ground, and now, the forecasters say that we'll have at least 4' by the end of the storm tomorrow afternoon. Whew. Perhaps this blizzard will make up for the long winter drought. I have to admit that I'm a bit sad about what this heavy snow and then inevitable warm spring weather will do to trail conditions for mountain biking. But, for the moment, I'll just enjoy the snow.

Over the day, I took photos of our deck table to show the snow buildup. Unfortunately, we just tipped it sideways because of worries that it would break under the weight of the snow. The two photos were at 10:30 AM and 3:30 PM.

To my amazement, the news says that the cities like Boulder and Denver have almost no snow. They've been inundated with sleet and slush. It's a dramatic demonstration of the striking difference between our world in the mountains and the lower elevation cities.

This afternoon's ski will be challenging. New snow has erased my ski tracks from this morning. Breaking trail through 3' of snow will be hard work - so we may not cover much distance - but it'll be fun being on the trails in a white-out!


  1. I have been following the storm on the Weather Channel and thought of you and the Labs. Looks like you just made the best of it and the dogs surely had fun. Glad S is tolerating the medications.

    Your photographs of the snow and the dogs are beautiful.

  2. Nice blog, I'm also amazed why denver doesn't have any kind of snow storms, by the way hope you don't mind but if you visited Lake Tahoe then you might also be interested with this one, Alpine Meadows has some killer deals on next years season passes and we are just trying to get the word out to everyone to take advantage of it before it expires on May 31st. Season passes start from just $299, check it out if you are interested. Though this is a bit shameless, you have to admit that the pricing is pretty good. you can check it out here

  3. It is nice to read that S is feeling good! Z had to take several courses of prednisone before we got his allergies under control, and he never had any noticeable side effects at all - hopefully S will be the same way!

  4. We're well over 3 feet here too (Sat morning). And, the snow is still falling. We're careful not to run the dog too much in the deep stuff since we suspect that's how Ginko blew out his knees after that huge storm in March 2003.

    We've been dealing with all manner of utility issues --- no power, no internet, no phones. Ah, well.

    We'll do what we can while we can. For now, we're only without phones.

  5. Oh, I do love snow. I sure wish we got more of it the way we used to in MN. I'm pondering moving to CA to be nearer my family but I was so looking forward to teaching Java how to skijor next winter. I suppose snow is within driving distance in CA.


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