Let me start by saying that I am a believer in the messages delivered by Al Gore et al related to global warming. But, the last two winter's have really challenged my faith in the concept.
As some of you may know, we live on a hill with a very steep driveway. (When you think steep, think the 2nd hill of this year's Montana Cup, then add a couple percent!) When it snows, we are no longer able to drive up and down. At that point, we resort to an ATV, a Kubota tractor, and good old foot power.
But, for the 2nd year in a row, we've had heavy snowfall. At this point we've had well over a foot of snow sitting on the ground (beginning the weekend of the USATF Cross Country meet in Spokane). That presents it's challenges; but, it's mostly manageable. And, the two weeks of single digit and below zero weather again presented some challenges; but, other than going through lots of extra firewood - it too was manageable.
What is kicking my ass for the 2nd year in a row is having spring come in late December. Just like last year we had nice steady rain all day on Saturday. With temps right around freezing - that made for a nice, thick coating of ice on the entire driveway. At this point, the ATV and the tractor are pretty much useless (try driving anything up or down a near vetical skating rink). And, walking is a study in personal safety every time that we leave the house.
Over the last 10 year years, there has been little snow during the winter seasons. Other than a day here and there, we were able to drive up and down the driveway with no problem.
Now, over the last two years I've spent significant portions of my winter seasons shoveling, and least enjoyable of all, chipping ice from about a quarter of a mile of driveway.
It's great to have the moisture - really helps to keep the forest fire potential down during the summers. And, makes for some beautiful forest growth during the spring. And, I know it's selfish of me; but, damn, I could really go for a bit of a warm spell right about now.
The Muddy Buzzard