Thursday, February 09, 2006

Just snow

Well, the snow banks in front of my house are now officially taller than I am. Geoff estimated that about 7 feet of snow has fallen here in the past three weeks. The accumulation isn't quite as high thanks to near or above-freezing temps, but there's still plenty of snow on the ground. I feel tempted sometimes to let my restless cat go out exploring, but I fear I wouldn't find her until spring. Heavy snowfall and 50 mph winds this morning created an absolute white out, complete with about eight inches of wet, unplowed powder on the roads. I barely got my car out of the driveway, and only because I have to drop 1,200 feet in elevation did I even have a prayer of driving it to work. I arrived at the office windblown and soaked to my thighs from pushing my car.

"How come you didn't ride your bike today?" my boss asked.

I think she was joking, but I'm not sure. I have developed a reputation for bicycling in nasty conditions, and bike commuting when the driving's bad. But I don't think she understands that, even if I could successfully ride - not walk - my bike through eight inches of snow, I'd likely be killed by traffic while negotiating the roads through the blasting wind and extremely low visibility. Big SUVs were sliding off the road. "Blizzard-like conditions" and two massive avalanches closed the Seward Highway, which means everyone on the Kenai Peninsula is stuck here until the storm lets up. My point is ... there are some days that you just can't ride.

For what it's worth, I did put in 90 minutes running intervals at 85-90 percent maximum heart rate on the elliptical (how boring is that?). But it's good to get in these hard cardiovascular workouts that I can't always achieve on my bike. And the gym was absolutely abandoned, because no one in their right mind was out driving today.

But if they're even getting a fraction of this snowfall north of Anchorage, no amount of heart-pumping intervals can save me, especially if it stays as warm as it's supposed to. Ned Rozell recently wrote a great description of conditions I fear the most in the lead of his latest Alaska Magazine column. But all I can do is watch and wait, and hope my prayers override the skiers'.


  1. Jill - say your homage to the snow Gods and pray and wait - and work hard ... you are lucky to have such a brave life to live. I will be rooting for you. Don't be glib and don't be brash, go before the snow gods with the deference they deserve. Be humble, and be brave. Beg for your health and for forgiveness.

    Go with God. I'll be glad to see you race, and delighted if you finish, I know you're ready. Go. Rubber side down. I'll be thinking of you. May all the forces of nature stand beside you. Believe.

  2. Gee, I guess the 8 to 10 inches of snow we are getting this weekend isn't really that big a deal after all............

  3. What Shawn said! He said it FAR more eloquently than I could!

  4. I looked on the official Susitna website because I couldn't remember which weekend it was, and I must say, coming from Minnesota where there are no volcanoes, being required to bring dust masks is kind of funny.

    You could ship some of that snow down here. We're a little short this winter.


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