Pictures taken on Thursday, January 29, 2004.

This afternoon Sandy and I had a nice cross-country skiing outing.   Still way snowed in: yesterday the wind blew hard all day, drifting the 14 inches or so of snow we had.   We had whiteouts and snow-tornados all day long.   About 2 PM, I took my ATV down the mountain to neighbor George's house, that he might take me to the post office (3 miles from here) to ship some MojoWorld orders.   It took me 45 minutes to get down the driveway, as the plow blade gets jammed in the snowdrifts, even with it all the way up.   Attempting to come back up, right at the bottom of the driveway, wallowing about in the deep snow I slide the ATV into the ditch beside the driveway.   Fortunately, George's pickup can make that 50 feet or so up the driveway and pulls my ATV out.   I have to go back and drop the plow blade off at George's if I'm ever gonna get back up.   I finally get back up the mountain, two hours after leaving.   The ATV pretty much swims up the mountain, its tractor tires acting like paddlewheels in the deep snow, crawling along at about 1/5 of walking speed.

This morning, dawn is greeted with a cacophony of beeping UPS units in our offices downstairs.   The power has gone out.   My first chance to fire up our generator!   After about a half an hour figuring out how to turn it on (it has two on/off switches, it turns out), I fire it up and we're good to go.   About two hours later, the power returns.   I've only lost about 48 hours worth of renderings.

About 4:30 today I hear the rumbling of heavy equipment.   I know that Dale Hoover has come to free us--however temporarily--from Ice Station Redneck.

Dale owns all the local heavy equipment.   He's up here at least every other month for some project: digging up this, moving that.

Good man.   "We like Dale." :-)

These are the two machines it took to do the job, which took them 3 hours to complete.   (Dale tells me the drifts are six feet deep down at the bottom, where I put the ATV into the ditch yesterday.)   After it's all done, of course, we have to jawbone for another hour or so.   That's just the way we do things here in Wes' Virginny.   "Mo's catchin' on."

Check out how the snow broke up and moved like blocks of ice.   Like having ice breakers working in our front yard.   As dusk falls, Dale and friends beat it on down the mountain.   He tells me, "I seen it worse up here--way worse."   Mo thinks, "oh boy, I can't wait to see that.

-Hillbilly Mo with HillbillyCam, a Free Man--for a While, at Least