Monday, December 26, 2005
Consider This for December 26, 2005—Snow and More Snow
I can’t remember when we had so much snow this early.
I moved to the mountains in 1974 and I remember that the first few years were a bit dry. I remember living in Blue River and having my septic tank freeze because there wasn’t any snow cover.
In 1977 the snow pack was so low that I saw the old streets and foundations of the old town of Dickey at the Blue River inlet for the first time. I don’t remember the same amount of concern about water then. I guess there were a lot fewer people living in Denver.
I had a good friend who bought a brand-new truck and a brand-new snow plow anticipating heavy snow and lots of money coming in. The truck and the plow were repossessed and my friend moved to Florida. Not to push snow of course but to find something that was more financially reliable.
In 1980 Summit County was the fastest- growing county in the United States. We went from around 3000 year- round residents to 10,000 between 1970 and 1980.
The last long early snow that I remember was in December of 1983. I had to get my driveway plowed in Dillon Valley every day for a couple of weeks. The Sheriff then was Delbert Ewoldt and he had a John Deere tractor with a snow blower on it. Even with that it took a while to get all the snow out of the driveway.
During that snowfall the highway between Breckenridge and Frisco had so much snow piled on the side that one had a hard time seeing the mountains. We had friends staying with us from Omaha and I shuttled them back and forth from Dillon Valley to Breckenridge. It was amazing snow.
During the winter of 1979-‘80 I ran the concrete batch plant at L.G. Everist in Silverthorne. My job was to load and dispatch the mixer trucks with concrete to the various construction sites in the county. We used hot water to batch the concrete so it would not freeze. Concrete after it is mixed and poured will generate its own heat but it still needed to be covered or protected to keep it from freezing.
I remember that we had several drivers from California, Arizona and Texas that winter. They came to play softball in the summer and ski in the winter.
And to complain.
They complained every time it snowed. They complained every time it got cold.
I told them that there were places they could work doing the same thing but without the cold weather and the snow. I had a hard time listening to them talk about being out in the cold and snow pouring concrete while singing the praises of the great skiing the day before. They never found the connection.
Actually they were all great employees. They worked hard and played hard. Just the right kind of folks for Summit County.
Last week I shoveled my driveway by hand four times in two days. I sold my big snow blower at a garage sale during the drought thinking it would never snow a lot again. I was so very wrong. I get plow envy every time a neighbor drives by in a big pickup truck with a big snow plow on the front.
To add misery to heartache about the time I get the driveway shoveled out the county plow comes by and dumps a nice windrow of hard- pack back in the drive. They did it to me when I was a county commissioner too so I am not taking it as a political statement.
A lot of my family is here for the week and I am taking some time off before the session starts. I guess if it is going to snow, let it snow now.
Maybe if I buy a new snow blower it will quit snowing again. Maybe the ski areas will pay me to not buy one just to make sure it keeps snowing. Hmmmmm. Let me think about that one.