A Bit of Snow

There was just a little bit of snow along the highway from Berlin to Rostock. I was on my way to Sweden and could not decide to take the faster way (but with more driving) or the slower way. I asked the tourist information lady at the rest area just before Rostock - no problem, the streets are dry in Denmark.

So I decided for the faster way, this would get me 2 more hours of fireplace time this evening.

Just off the ferry in Gedser there were some flurries in the air, but it was no big deal. But after about 30 km it started being a big deal - the highway was full of slush. I thought the autobahn would be cleared, but it, too, was full of slush. But no problem, you could drive 80 kmh through the slush.

It started getting worse, but I felt good because I was behind a snow plow. Except, as I discovered, it was neither plowing nor distributing some of the goodies it had piled high on the flatbed. It was just driving around, enjoying the weather. I pulled out to pass it, and it sprang to life, with a yellow light flashing and started to dump salt. I debated pulling over at the next parking place to wait for it to pass me again, but the snow wasn't that bad.

It got extremely bad about 10 meters after the Tappernoje rest area. I regretted not stopping, but decided to grit my teeth and pull through, as it would surely only get worse. But actually, it got better, at times there was no snow at all!

The bridge was fine, but shortly after in Sweden a powdery snow was coming down thick and fast with no snow plows in sight. I had to slow down quite a bit, as I could not even see the dividing line on the autobahn. I stopped in Lund for some food at the 24h place - never know if this is going to be a snow-in kind of storm.

Getting to my cabin I discovered that it was going to be a snow-out kind of storm. John-Erik had plowed the snow nicely from the dirt road, dumping it in a hip-high wall of snow along the way. There was no way to drive into our parking place. No problem, the central parking place is free, I'll just unload the car and drive back.

Behind the wall of snow, however, was knee-deep powdered snow. And I remembered that we had broken the snow shovel, trying to get the car out to go home after Christmas. Luckily, I still have the spade in my car that we then used to get the car dug out.

Ever tried to shovel snow with a spade? The shaft is not long enough, so you have to bend over. It also just has a small surface area, so it only gets a bit of snow with every swing. Swinging back and forth helps in the powdered snow, but I managed to knock out one of the lights which was buried in the snow that way. I briefly debated clearing the shortest path to a door, but the snow had drifted there and that was hip-deep, all the way down. So I shoveled down and around, only to see the little cellar that I had to get to in order to turn on the water. It was under at least 20 cm of snow. I would have to clean that off.

It took me 45 minutes to shovel all the snow, then another 25 minutes to carry all the stuff down, get the snow off the cellar (it had frozen to a nice, 20cm thick ice-clump, so I was glad I had the spade), get the water on, and then mop up all the melted snow from the entrance way.

I went to put on a fire - and discovered the lazy people here at Christmas time had not replenished the wood pile indoors. Not to worry, I have some kindling drying on the veranda. You have to throw 2-3 sticks on every 10 minutes, but it still is warm and much better than digging out down to the wood shed.

On the agenda for tomorrow: buy a snow shovel!

1 comment:

WiseWoman said...

The house was making strange noises in the sun today. I had a look outside, and decided that I should use the fancy new snow shovel (300 SEK!) to try and get some off the roof.

Man, wet snow is heavy! I used the ladder we use for cleaning the gutters and managed to bathe myself in snow many times over. The sun was nice and it was kind of fun. The snow shovel could also be used backwards to great advantage - Swedish design!

When I was finished - and full of snow - I made a nice angel in the snow down the front bank - what a wonderful feeling to be lying in the soft snow, looking up at a blue sky... until my backend started freezing.