Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Have I mentioned the snow?

Or the ice? Or the extreme cold? I suppose so. The red pickup (above) lives outside in Mason City and doesn't seem to mind. There are days when I do. We had about six more inches of snow overnight, so I've taken the preliminary steps needed to get moving (sweep some of the snow off and shovel a foot or two so I can back out into the driveway (the guy who clears the paths and the parking came while most of us still were parked). The next step will be to start her up, let her run for a while and then I should be mobile again.

It is -5F here right now. That translates to -21C, so perhaps we can feel a little warmer in Fahrenheit than Celsius and be grateful the U.S. has resisted urgings to switch. Sadly, -24 (-31C) is predicted overnight. Since the sun was out earlier today than predicted, it could get colder I suppose.

A warning that Interstate 35 was closed north of Webster City kept me home in Chariton for an hour longer yesterday morning, but that turned out to be pointless. The blockade actually had been in southbound lanes only due to a crash just where the great diagonal north of Blairsburg begins. By the time I got there, only a sedan in the configuration of a pancake (probably after rolling several times) and a few of the vehicles it had taken with it remained scattered in the median and beyond.

Actually, I counted only 20 vehicles in the ditch between Des Moines and Mason City, so it hadn't been a bad night accountable most likely to the fact the blizzard lasted only a couple of hours rather than the predicted several. We had about two hours of early-evening blizzard in Chariton after perhaps three inches of snow Monday morning followed by a warming-up period in the afternoon when it was possible to shovel it all comfortably away (of course it blew back Monday night).

It grew progressively colder as I drove north: 0 in Chariton, -4 at Dows and -6 in Mason City. Now I'm going to go start the truck and think warm thoughts.

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