Monday, January 25, 2010

Alpine, AZ January 2010 Blizzard - What An Experience!

Constant shoveling. Our truck is about 7-8'. You can see how high the snow is where we shoveled it. Over the week we had about 6 feet or more of snow fall. I'm interested to find out exactly what we had when I get home!!

We've had quite the week in Alpine, AZ! The waves of storms from the Pacific started dropping snow last Monday with the worst Thursday and Friday. We lost our power 9pm Thursday night and it wasn't restored until 11pm last night. We didn't know when it would be back on so decided to leave yesterday morning - also before any more storms rolled in. We are all so lucky to live in this country. We learned first hand what it's like to live without electricity or water supply. We have a great wood burning stove but it's small and you need to stoke it every 1/2 hour to keep it going. So our pipes or we wouldn't freeze, we had it going 24/7 until we left. I wanted Mark to be in good shoveling shape (since we were doing it every 2 hours to keep our driveway clear to get out to our upcoming show - I helped but he was the real muscle moving tons) so I manned the fire. For three nights I set a kitchen timer for every 30 minutes so I would wake up to stoke it then he'd take over at 4am. Also interesting to get on the schedule of do everything you can while there's daylight - then we only had candlelight. It was a very serious storm and luckily rare. There were some really nice moments of quiet and I did make some killer baked potatoes,beanie weenies and grilled cheese sandwiches on our wood burning stove :) but mostly hard WET work! I'm so glad we were able to get customer's orders in the mail before this immobilized us!

We got plowed the first couple storms but had to wait until the end of Saturday for our road to be cleared. You can see the road - that's over 2 ft there - impassable even with our 4 wheel drive and high clearance. We were truly cut off and on our own - even emergency respose vehicles couldn't get through it.

One of our local birds laughing at us, sitting on the broom we've destroyed by brushing off the truck.

Sam got REALLY tired of it too.

We initially planned on keeping our U-Shaped driveway clear - lofty ambition. We settled for just one side of the driveway. That was enough.

That snow pile from shoveling is OVER Mark's head!

Our road before plowing.

Our home as we left it. Those are actual snow boulders out front from the plowing. Some were the size of a small car.

Driving out our road yesterday. As soon as we got around the corner to connect to the main road which leads to the highway we were driving through 2-3 foot drifts. We were worried we'd even make it to the highway without getting stuck. Too scared, as Mark plowed through it to get pictures. :(

Yay! We made it to the highway - this is our powdered sugar meadow behind our house.

Another meadow picture. Soooo beautiful when you're driving by but unpleasant to be stuck in!
At the Alpine Divide - 8550' - looked like it was going to snow on us again as we were trying to leave.

Pretty cabin on the way out of town near Tal Wi Wi lodge.

FINALLY out of the snow line. In the dessert before getting to Phoenix. Before this went through two more dicey driving conditions - 50m of iced over highway from Springerville to Show Low then about 20m of an only one lane plowed road from Heber to Payson. The plowed snow was piled 12' on each side of the road and pretty scary when tractor trailers were coming at you head on!! (No pictures of that one either - too busy freaking out!)

Right before Phoenix - Four Peaks. The snow is such an amazing site in the dessert.

So here the three of us are - feeling like refugees at Mark's Sister's beautiful home in Phoenix, AZ. It's so wonderful to be warm, be dry, have power, phone, Internet, and get a break before leaving for our show in Indio on Wed. We were going to leave this Wed, spend one night then leave for the show on Thu but this works out so great. We feel like we're at a resort for a couple days!!

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