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October

Old 10-22-2004, 11:30 PM
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October

By 7AM a light, foggy drizzle has turned to wind-driven snow bearing down from the Divide to the West. Traffic coming off the pass wanes, and this leads me to think that it must already be getting deep on the Western Slope. I look at the valley newspaper, and it predicts 8-15 moderate autumn conditions by local standards, and always just a wild-**** guess up here where each mountain makes its own weather. Its a pretty safe bet that well see more than 0.8 and less than 150.

By late morning the sun is out and snow on the ground is disappearing sublimating in dry air without ever creating a wet surface. And then it starts snowing again. These alternating waves keep up all day, the only constant a wind from the West that ranges maybe 40-50 MPH.

At times snow is thick and horizontal low-lying, while everything from rooftop to cobalt sky is dazzlingly clear. Its hard to describe to someone who has not seen such a thing the surreal quality of light and shadow. Now and then, an ambulance screams up the pass. A lot of folks, not just the tourists, are still on summer tires.

Each trip outside for a smoke involves pulling on a coat and hauling in an armload of wood. Sometimes I dont take the coat off until Ive crouched at the stove for a long while. I imagine that sailing a wooden boat in rough seas must feel something like trying to keep a 3,000 square-foot 19th century house from becoming glacier-like in a high-country winter. And Winter, in the fullness of the season, is yet a ways off.

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Old 11-10-2004, 09:05 PM
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