The Chocolate Lady

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Winter Wonderland, Part 2

As we turned off the main, mountain highway, we were consumed with the snowy forest. We winded down little side streets, carefully following the directions that the cabin owner had emailed to us, and found our cabin on a narrow path. The road was just barely wide enough for the car, lined with 2 feet of snow that had been cleared by a plow.

The kids were bubbling with glee, and even Pooper was shrieking in between his barfing.

As we pulled up, and doubled checked the address with the numbers on the cabin, we soon realized that we would not be able to pull into the "driveway" as directed in our notes. The "driveway" was packed in with snow, and we could see no other place to park. The road was narrow, so we couldnt just leave our car there, blocking the road. The only place that we could possibly park, would be about a mile or two up the road, across a damn, and that didnt seem feasible with the kids and luggage.

I made my first of several calls to the cabin owner:

Me: Hi T, we arrived at the cabin, but are unable to park in the driveway because of the snow. Is there another place nearby to park?

Cabin Owner: If you dont want to park on the snow, there is a shovel on the back patio of the cabin.

Me: Oh, ok. There is about 2 feet of snow on the drive way, so it wouldnt be possible to park there, we'll go up and get the shovel.

Cabin Owner: Really, Im surprised that there is still snow. Is there any on the stairs?

Me: Yes, the stairs have a lot of snow too.

Cabin Owner: The temperature has been warm during the day, Im surprised any snow is left. Well, be careful going up the stairs, just kick off any snow so that it doesnt get icey.

Me: Ok (still excited and totally ignorant to the impossibility of shoveling the drive.)

Now, for the record, we have had a lot of rain and snow in the past month. This past week, the daily highs were in the mid 50's and the nightly lows were about 30. So, that equates to a little melting of the snow pack during the day (although the cabin faces NW, and gets little sunshine in the front)...and that slushing snow just refreezes each night. So, just to be clear, this was not fluffy, was hard, packed, ice.

We leave the kids in the car, which is parked in the road, in front of the cabin. We figure they can hang out in the comfort and warmth for a bit, until we can clear things enough to get inside.

Thankfully, Pooper is well versed in throwing up, and can tend to himself without any assistance from My Honey or I.

My Honey and I then begin our journey to shovel off the drive.

Soon we realize, that it is quite a feat just to get up the stairs. They are slick and hard as a rock. They are solidly frozen, and dont give in at all to your foot. We both hold on to the side railing (which I worried would collapse against my weight) and managed to climb up the ice pack on the stairs. Whew!

Using the secret code given to us, we go into the cabin. I immediately turn on the heater, while My Honey heads out to the back patio to get the coveted snow shovel.

Unfortunately, he could not find the snow shovel anywhere! The back patio was also covered in a couple feet of snow, and I could see the handle of a stepping stool poking out of the ice. As I looked around, I could also see just a hint of grey plastic, from the snow shovel. It was buried beneath the snow, but was angled so that the edge of the shovel was up against the cabin, sticking out, as if waving at us, "help, get me out of here!"

Luckily, there were two tools on the kitchen counter; a hammer, and a wrench. My Honey got started with the hammer, and began pecking away at the frozen tundra, to rescue the shovel.

I journey back to the stairs, with the wrench, and tried to make some headway on the mountainous snow piles. We would not be able to get the kids up to the cabin without first clearing the stairs. My Honey and I barely made it up to the cabin ourselves, and it would be unsafe to attempt to bring the kids up and over that ice.

As Im chipping away at the stairs, the kids and the car in my sights, I holler out to them often, "This is it guys, mountain living, isnt it fun?!!" I would say with a chuckle and a smile. I was still delusional about getting this all cleared out and continuing on with our vacation.

We had arrived at the cabin around noon. We were hungry, but had planned to bring in our bags (and start the heater) before venturing back out to eat. We figured that after lunch, we could enjoy some snow play, and then head over to the supermarket to buy some food, paper products and firewood. We wanted to be back to the cabin to cook dinner before darkness set in, as the cabin would be tough to find in the dark, as we were not acquainted with the neighborhood.

Noon soon turned to 1, and 2:00pm was fast approaching. I had cleared a few steps, and My Honey finally got the shovel from beneath the snow.

It took him an hour just to get the shovel. That's when we realized that this project was a lot harder than it looked!

We assessed the situation, and decided that it would be impossible to clear the driveway. The stairs were a must, as we couldnt get the kids into the cabin without some clearance on the stairs.

While I had cleared a few stairs, there were still over 20 to go. My Honey decided that he would clear just a 1' foot path on the stairs, just enough to walk up. To try and do anymore would be a waste of time, as it was, we would be lucky to get the task done before it got dark. Here he is, working away, this picture was taken when he was almost done.

He did it all with the hammer, as the snow shovel was made of plastic, and was completely worthless on the hardened ice. Everytime we tried, at best, the shovel would bend, it was impossible to use it to clear anything. Here is another photo after My Honey had cleared our path.

The kids were still in the car, whining occasionally, but generally being pretty good. Now that I think about it, their best behavior of the whole trip might have been when they were in the car...hmmm.....something to note for the future!

While My Honey chipped away at the icey mounds on the stairs, I went and got the kids into their snow clothes, so that they could play in the "front yard" while daddy worked.

Yessirree...this was mountain living, sledding in the snow while daddy worked on the yard....just normal mountain living, and boy was it fun!


Grandma J said...

Boy I bet the view from that cabin is something else. Your Honey seems quite content to do his yard work without a jacket on in that sub-zero weather....a real mountain man!

Can't wait to hear about hot cocoa while snuggling around the fire, the sled riding, snowman building, and yellow snow type stuff.

Anonymous said...

Ok - all I have to say is you better have gotten that cabin for free. I live in Mammoth and when you rent a cabin they have the driveway cleared. And they wouldn't be shoveling it, they'd use a plow. OMG you guys are killing me.

Leeann said...

I agree with your anonymous poster. You seem to have a good attitude about getting there and having all that work to do. IMO, it is the landlord's responsibility to have the cabin prepared for guests...and accessible to them!