Snow Stories

Above: A few of the two hundred and fifty-something photos I took yesterday.

So yesterday I took some time off midday to amble into town.

One of my favorite things to do is to get out right after a good snow because the town and forest are magical then.

As I hiked down my hill to the main road, my boots crunched through the almost knee deep snow into the soft powder underneath the crust.

I love how quiet it becomes. You can hear everything but my favorites sounds are the birds and the snow melting off of the pines.

This is so wonderful–although it is only possible because road conditions are hazardous and the fact that we still had not been plowed beyond the main drag.

Down on the highway, the plow had cleared the snow to the side of the road and it was very slick.

Cinders, such a hazard off season, are a great addition for traction during this time of year.

When I hit town, locals were busy clearing snow but not too busy to take a break and stop for a chat.

It is good to be able to walk around again after two years of absence.

I was amazed how many people really noticed that I was not hiking or visible and yet didn’t know what had been happening to me over that time.

Happy to catch up, I landed at Amangela’s to warm myself by the fireplace and visit with locals. Andy was out a lot yesterday–saw him three different times during my amble that lasted over five hours.

Jim was handling a lot of calls but is still open for more work.

BTW: Jim, Thanks so much for clearing my stairway entrance–you are such an angel!

John, of Buc N’ Doe fame, told me that he is still moving forward but his kids have been sick and unable to assist him on the project so he is hopeful that he will open sometime next year. I’m going to take him up on the offer of a tour and then share the scoop with you.

Herb was out clearing the mess on the triangle road that the country always tries to ignore.

They usually get to it sometime after they are caught up elsewhere, but it sure is a pain to the locals who use the road and it also causes flooding.

Up the road I dropped by to kidnap Shadow.

Shadow is a third generation Fawnskin canine that I have known since the day she was born. It has been about two years since I could hike with her and she was a little reluctant to leave her dad at first.

However, once we got on the hike things changed and it was like we had never not been absent from our hikes.

Up the road we found Steve and Howard dealing with a flat tire.

Lucky for Steve, he discovered it when he got home but digging in to get it off the street and then trying to inflate the sucker was quite a long process.

Once back, I had a cup of cocoa with Mike–Shadow’s dad. He said the last time he had cocoa was a while back when we shared a cup–which was before Thanksgiving.

Shadow left to go take a nap and I happily headed home–but had to climb up and over the street berm to amble down those stairs slowly since I had not yet cleared them.

I know better…but I wanted to get into town before things began to thaw.

Once the sun comes out and begins to melt things it is no longer a light and fluffy affair.

The slush is heavy and sticks to surfaces–including the shovel.

I know I could spray the shovel with vegetable oil but I never get around to it.

Life is to be lived so I took some time out to enjoy the day. Glad I put on sun block because my lips felt like they got too much sun after the lip balm wore off.

There are a few vital necessities when you are out after a snowstorm…sunblock, sunglasses, proper attire, and good snow boots.

I was wearing my La Crosse Outdoorsman boots and reflected back on the days when I embarrassed some of my coworkers on the mountain.

Back then, I had just moved up to the mountain full-time and opened a business. I also learned how to ski–and was bit by the ski bug.

When my business then slowed down during the winter, I became a snowcat operator, one of five female operators in the nation.

However, as many of you know, I could care less about fashion.

So, when some locals gave me a pair of moon boots I figured they were so ugly that I could wear them at work in the muck around the cat house.

They must have given them to me on purpose to be mean.

When I showed up wearing them at the ski resort–the guys were mortified.

How could I be seen wearing moon boots?

So, they hooked me up with some real mountain gear and didn’t hold it against me–but they often shook their heads over some of my antics.

Today I have great gear (Sorel boots, Waterproof Bean Boots, Acorn Slipper Socks, etc.,)–but that is for another post.

Anyway, back to the present…everyone in town was talking about the storm and how we lucked out that part of it moved south.

My amusements for the heavy snow day were taking care of the birds and gazing out the window while I wrote.

As for the sight that made me laugh, although alarming, it took place in a lull in the storm when Joey & Lilly made a break for it.

The dastardly duo are not a human couple but two dogs belong to Steve and Sharon Knapik across town.

Joey is a Labrador and Lilly is a little white wire-haired terrier.

Joey was leaping and frolicking down the middle of North Shore Drive and Lilly, outfitted fashionably in her winter sweater, was running as fast as her short legs could take her trying to keep up with him.

Now, since I am up on the hill there is no way I could have caught up with them–and by the time I found Sharon’s number the dogs were heading back into town.

Dogs LOVE the snow and these two were having a ball.

I left a message and was glad when Sharon called me back to let me know they had caught up with the duo–the two bolted away and escaped so their owners were actually trailing behind and all returned home safely.

Finally, the big event last night was the happy hour at the Moose Lodge.

In addition to the discounts, Bernie cooked up a mean Chili Verde. I called to make sure some was left before we braved the roads to get there, but by the time we arrived we had to scrape the pot. I had less than half a bowl but it was really great.

Betty Conroy was celebrating her birthday so we made do and filled up on cake instead–while wishing her a fabulous day through mouths covered in chocolate and frosting.

But the highlight of my evening?

My discovery that Jim had come up and cleared the berm and deep snow from in front of my staircase.What a slice of heaven!

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 9th, 2009 and is filed under Mountain Lake Resort.

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10 Responses to “Snow Stories

  • 1
    December 9th, 2009 10:24

    pretty pretty pretty pretty 🙂

  • 2
    GG (Gossip Girl)
    December 9th, 2009 10:30

    Yes, indeed. Where did I put that photo of your place?…I have it somewhere.

  • 3
    Shadow's Mom
    December 9th, 2009 20:27

    Excellent photos. Fawnskin is such a beautiful place. Part of that beauty is the people of Fawnskin. Good folks!

  • 4
    Janet Schroeder
    December 10th, 2009 06:58

    We really enjoyed the walk thru Fawnskin, and was
    real suprised to find out little red cabin pictured, and
    Ron & Pia’s. Keep up the good work, we read you
    every day.

  • 5
    December 10th, 2009 07:37

    Thanks for sharing your great pictures.Can’t wait to get up to my place in Sugarloaf,
    Merry Christmas to you.

  • 6
    GG (Gossip Girl)
    December 10th, 2009 07:51

    Thanks for your comment. Yes, you better get up here soon to enjoy the fresh snow! Same to you and have a great new year.

  • 7
    GG (Gossip Girl)
    December 10th, 2009 07:54

    Hi Janet, I love your little cabin and often feature different pictures on the blog. I just love how they all look after a fresh snowfall.

  • 8
    GG (Gossip Girl)
    December 10th, 2009 08:01

    Thanks, I enjoy ambling about after a fresh snow and am so happy you let me kidnap Shadow on those adventures!

  • 9
    February 24th, 2010 18:03

    I enjoy your stories…am curious about your ‘1 of 5 female snowcat operator’ comment…for real information?

  • 10
    GG (Gossip Girl)
    February 26th, 2010 18:36

    Yes, true at the time. Today it is more common to see female operators. I was supposed to be in a Warren Miller film with my crew and also had a picture in National Geographic kids. When we had another woman join the crew we both were featured in an article but I never saw the pictures or the story.