Wednesday, January 28, 2015

When Adventure Comes to You, the Nor'easter

Given all the excitement over the recent snow storm. The competing boasts of most snow, the countless photos of people walking down deserted snow-covered streets, kids sledding and closely monitored road, school and work closings,  the 36 hour news coverage...and the reality that this happens, exactly like this every two or so years, it starts to become clear that the excitement isn't really about it's uniqueness so much as each potential storm is an adventure.Snowstorms aren't unusual in New England, they're a welcome break from the routine, an adventure that you don't have to leave home for, an adventure comes to you.

The January 27th storm was a great example. Like all great adventures it was 70% planning and 30% wtf. The weather forecaster's predicted it a solid 48 hours in advance, giving everyone time to make the proper plans and get the excitement building.

Schools started cancelling classes, parking bans went into effect, grocery shelves were emptied....and then the Governor closed the highways and declared a state of emergency hours before the first flake fell.

All that was left to do, and deal with, were the unplannables.
  • Just how much snow will fall? Will it be a dud, or historic, epic or catastrophic storm?
  • Will the power go out? And if it goes out will you be forced to survive by wrapped up in your down sleeping bag and eating raw frozen meat?
  • Will you get time off work? and if not will the trains run to get you to work? or will you get stuck in waiting for a train in the cattle yard that is North Station?
  • Will the snow be light and fluffy? and if so, and if it's a blizzard, when do you shovel?
  • Will the snow be snowman or snowfort snow? can you even attempt to shovel 24 inches of that? and if so what style of snowman should you build?

In Beverly, the snow didn't start until 10pm. At 2am it still didn't seem all that impressive. After
checking and seeing that the forecast was still calling for 24 inches, it seemed doubtful. At 6:00 I poured my morning coffee and settled back to watch the snow. Unimpressed by the what had already fallen, I soon realized that in the time it took to drink one cup, the snow had doubled!  Without booking a flight, driving for hours or suffering any discontent at all, the adventure had begun!