Some of you folks who live in northern climates are probably laughing that it only took four inches of snow to shut down the entire town. And yes, when I moved here from South Dakota 25 years ago, I was also amazed. But - snowfall of this amount occurs so seldom (our last big storm was back in 2008) that it's not cost effective for local municipalities to keep a large fleet of snow removal equipment. Main roads are plowed, while minor streets stay buried.
|Skiing through the local park|
With the snowfall came a slew of cancellations, both workplaces and schools. Freeways became clogged with abandoned cars. Lots of folks who live here have no idea how to drive in snow and ice, and their cars are not equipped with the proper tires and/or chains. People who couldn't make it through the snow left their cars in streets, blocking travel lanes. Fender benders were a common occurrence.
|Reacquainting myself with skinny skis|
So when it does snow, it's easier to tell everyone to just stay home. Although I have a snow-worthy Subaru decked out with snow tires, I usually don't venture out. Yes, I can drive in the snow and ice, but worry about the people who can't. And I really don't want to get hit by some clueless, unprepared yahoo.
|Snow makes me happy|
Friday morning, after I learned work was closed, I became sorely tempted to drive up to Mt. Hood. Rumor had it the ski areas were buried in a huge dump of powder.
|White park scene|
But....to reach the mountain, I'd have to drive through town. Through the snow-packed freeways full of unprepared drivers. No telling if I'd be delayed by an accident, or be involved in one.
|Rear view skier|
And then I realized - why drive up all the way to the mountain when I had this wonderful powder right outside my front door?
I dug my cross country skis out of the garage (which hadn't seen use since the last snowstorm), and took a trip through my neighborhood. Silently, I glided down the white, snowy streets.
|These cattails wear white hats|
I'm lucky to have two parks within a mile of my house. The first park was deserted - just me and the snow-covered play equipment. I had a blast making first tracks through the light, fluffy powder.
|Lovin' the falling snow|
Then I headed to the second, larger park. On the way, I passed homes with cute fat snowmen sitting by the curb.
|Fluffy white coat on everything|
This park was full of people. Happy kids sledding down the small hills, people walking dogs, snowshoers, and even a few other folks on cross country skis.
|No picnics today|
Happily, I swooshed through the snowy goodness. It's so fun to be able to ski through familiar surroundings, totally changed by a coating of white fluff. To be able to step out your front door and go skiing. To some folks this sort of thing is commonplace, but here in Portland, it's a wonderful rare opportunity.
|Hooray for snow!|
Sadly, by Saturday evening, freezing rain descended upon the Willamette Valley, coating our lovely white powder with a hard, icy crust. And temps rose on Sunday, turning everything into a sloppy, wet mess.
But for a brief two days, I was able to enjoy the wonderful white paradise that became Snowlandia.
Sharing with: Our World Tuesday.