As discussed recently, too much of a good thing is not only attainable, but sometimes likely; be it Pork products, or, in this case: snow and cold. A cold front with some real teeth to it roared into the Bozone this weekend.
Last Friday night it was 28 degrees when I went to bed. It was 26 degrees when I woke up at 5:00 a.m. As the cold front rolled in Saturday morning is was snowing hard and 10 degrees by 6:15 a.m.
The National Weather Service had issued a "Blizzard Warning." Which, now that I think about it, should have been my first clue to stay home on this day. Ignoring this warning, as well as my gut feeling, I headed out into the soup with Big Sky as my destination. We don't get "blizzards" here very often in the way that I think of them: in a Fargo/high plains kind of way. That said, I think what I drove in on Saturday morning actually qualifies as Blizzard. Snow was going sideways. Really. There were regular drifts of snow on the highway that looked like waves in a choppy sea. It was downright Hemingway; or maybe a winter version of the opening scene from Shakespeare's The Tempest. I especially liked the way the snow was getting kicked up by my front tires and swirling up against my drivers-side door window. Cool. Not cool was how you couldn't see the back of any car thanks to the billowing snow or even less cool, was how presumably invisible my car was from the rear.
After taking waaaayy to long to go about 15 miles, I decided that I had enjoyed enough foolishness and it was time to abandon the Big Sky concept and return to base...or maybe just go to Bridger for a bit. The drive to Bridger is only 16 miles...and I could return much easier. Plus, my ski pass removes the cost factor of the Big Sky experience.
Pulling into Bridger's parking lot at 8:30, the thermometer on my dash was reading 6 degrees now; the cold front was really pushing in. By my fourth lap in the new powder or "cold smoke" snow, it was -5 or five below. That's minus five on the "F" side on the thermometer; as opposed to the "C" side of the thermometer. Which, by the way, I think stands for "Canada"?
After a few laps on the hill, the bottom of my goggles, edges of my helmet, and collar of my ski jacket looked like it had been flocked with a thick coating of the fake snow they spray on x-mas trees in the South. Only it wasn't fake, it was moisture that came out of my lungs only seconds before hitting the chilled atmosphere and freezing solid.
The snow was spectacular. But my legs, hands, feet and toes all hurt. Not to mention, I am wearing the fleece equivalent to a burqa around my face. I think whoever invents a face mask that isn't a pain in the ass to wear could make some real money selling it to Canadians and other fools that ski in sub-zero temps.
Sunday brought even colder temps; a daytime high of -10. We hit -24 this morning. It's a good thing that I am off to work today to sit in my warm little office; this way I won't have to feel like a total pansy for staying indoors and avoiding the chill.