Grasshopper Soup: There’s no job like a snow job
Special to the Sun
TRUCKEE/TAHOE and#8212; Is there such a thing as too much snow? It all depends on who you ask. There are always those who will say too much isnand#8217;t enough. Be careful what you wish for. We might have to call in the National Guard for food drops or mass rescue. It wouldnand#8217;t be the first time.
You know youand#8217;re dealing with too much snow when you actually have to lift your snow shovel. Wait until your shovel is empty before you lift it. Rule number one for home snow removal is never lift a shovel with snow in it. It is such a simple rule yet easy to forget, much to the benefit of local chiropractors.
Iand#8217;m lucky. I can easily push snow off my deck and walkway without lifting the shovel. Too much snow is when the snow Iand#8217;ve already pushed off gets above the level of the deck and I have to lift the shovel to throw the snow up and over. I quit doing that years ago.
If we really cared about our health, shoveling snow would be against the law.
Power snow blowers can handle large volumes of snow. However, you know there is too much snow for your power blower when the only way you can blow the snow as far as your blower will allow is to aim the release chute straight up. Wear a hood.
Here in Tahoe the walls of snow along walkways have been known to get so high it is impossible to throw the snow up and over them with a shovel or a power blower. Thatand#8217;s when you bring in the wheelbarrow, or just stay in the house and wait for Spring.
Another way to tell if there is too much snow is when the only way you can maintain your momentum on a snowboard or skis is on a slope with a 55 degree pitch. That is one steep slope, but if the snow is deep enough even a beginner can do it, because theyand#8217;ll just sink and stop. Sometimes our infamous Sierra cement can be so deep it will even stop an expert dead in his or her tracks.
Presidentsand#8217; Day weekend saw many cases where there was just simply too much snow for many a weekend warrior. Last Saturday at the Bridgetender a long-time local was talking about his day on the slopes and was overheard saying, and#8220;So many people were getting stuck in the snow there were no lift lines.and#8221; So there is an upside.
A lift ticket seller was asked, and#8220;Do we get a discount because of the powder?and#8221; I am not kidding. OK, so I heard that back in 1986. Just pretend it happened last weekend.
During a conversation with a ski shuttle driver about the snow conditions and elevation, a woman asked, and#8220;How high up does the snow go?and#8221;
Respectfully the driver responded, and#8220;All the way to the top Maand#8217;am.and#8221; What he really wanted to say was, and#8220;Well, the snow is just right down here where you can see it. Up at the top of the mountain thereand#8217;s a tropical rain forest with flamingos and rhododendrons.and#8221;
There are tropical rain forests at 8,000 feet in some of the mountains of China, so the bus driver wouldnand#8217;t have been too out of line saying that, but discretion is the better part of keeping your job boring, or just keeping your job.
Speaking of jobs, in Wisconsin cops are hunting down all 14 Democratic senators who left town to avoid doing their job (using the party-of-no page from the Republican play book?). Protestors took over the state capitol. Doctors and teachers are being investigated for phony sick notes so they can skip work to protest. They say they are teaching their students about the democratic process, but they are teaching them it is OK to commit fraud. Of course, dishonest and#8220;professionalsand#8221; are nothing new, but that doesnand#8217;t make it OK.
At this rate it may be impossible, but, hopefully, we can solve the national and state debt crises before we become a riot-torn, third world country.
Here in the land of plenty, will there ever be enough for everyone to be happy?
Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 28 years.