I was listening to the radio out in the shop, talking about how bad the weather is in the Midwest. They interviewed a bunch of people from Milwaukee and Chicago and other such blighted places, all crying and moaning about how bad the current winter storm is.
You're kidding, right?
At the beginning of last week, it was below zero here. Then it warmed up a bit, just enough to snow about a foot to eighteen inches, depending where exactly in the Valley you were. Then, starting on Friday last, it warmed up a lot more, 35F or so.
Then it rained.
Not enough to melt the snow, you understand, just enough to coat everything in layers of wet frictionless ice.
Today, right at this moment, according to my weatherbug gadget the temperature is back down to 25F and all that ice is now rock hard - and at the Palmer Airport the wind is roaring steady at 40MPH and here at Stonekettle Station it's gusting between 50 and 60 MPH strong enough to shake the house like an earthquake and rip branches off the trees.
If you step outside into the ice hockey rink that purports to be my driveway, the wind will push you across the ice into the trees - unless you are wearing crampons (which I am, at the moment). And still you need to keep low, otherwise the wind will flip onto your ass when your crampons stick in the ice and you can't move fast enough to adjust your balance. Shards of ice, blown off the trees and propelled by hurricane force winds, like to blind you and rip the flesh off of your hide. And you really don't want to know what the wind chill factor is right now.
Open your car door with your vehicle facing the wrong way, and the wind will rip that door right off your truck. I saw it happen twice today, not to me fortunately.
Winter, in Alaska. We've got about six more months of this.
So, Midwesterners? Please, come spend a weekend up here. Then go home - and shut the fuck up. Thanks.