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Thread: Snow!

  1. #16
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    1,108

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    Yeah the wind. If you don't mind an old gal reminiscing a bit, I'll tell you about the wind in my life.

    I grew up on the prairies of the Dakotas and Nebraska. Wind, out there, is a constant companion. You can go weeks at a time with no letup in the wind. We didn't even consider anything under 20 mph as wind. Not kidding when I say, that when we would get a calm day, it took us awhile to figure out what was missing. The wind nearly killed me, more than once.

    One summer day as a teenager, a friend and I decided to go for paddle in the canoe out on a large prairie reservoir. Nice and calm, so we decided to cross the lake. Got out in the middle and we got hit with 40 mph winds. Calm one second and raging wind storm the next. It actually blew my life vest right out of the canoe before I could grab it, because I hadn't bothered to strap it on (have never made the mistake, again). I was paddling stern and just managed to keep us afloat as the wind hit. Fortunately, I saw the wind coming across the water so we weren't broadside when it hit, but now all I could do is the let the wind and waves carry us along, because there was no way to turn the canoe with risking having the wind flip us. If you've ever been in a canoe with that kind of wind, you know what I mean.

    I'm not at all exaggerating when I say we were traveling as far up and down those huge waves as we were going forward. I had to crest each mountainous wave and drop down in those troughs just right to keep from being washed under those huge waves. Fortunately, I had learned to paddle at an early age, so I had the skill for it, but it was still very close. One wrong move would have been the end for us. A mile later the wind beached us on a mud flat, far from our car. My friend and I crawled out of the canoe and sat down in the mud and hugged each other, both of us in tears.

    Winter winds were the worst, though, and equally deadly. One January day in high school, my ride couldn't make it to pick me up and take me home. Foolish me decided towel the 3 and a half miles home, out in the country. Temps were single digits, but the wind was a solid 30 mph blowing against the left side of my face. Woke up the next morning with a black and blue cauliflower left ear. I was very lucky it didn't go gangrene or I would have lost it. To this day, though, I carry a reminder of that day because the outer lobe of my left ear is still as hard as a rock, even after all these years. Lived through my share of prairie blizzards, too. Not being able to see three feet in front of your face was no Hollywood exaggeration. Really happens. True killer storms.

    Was never in a tornado, but was close enough to actually see a couple of them and was also witness to the aftermath of one. That was as much as I wanted to see. Had cousins who lived though a whole night of several tornadoes in succession. They escaped without a direct hit, but they told us that it really did sound like a freight train on top of them, just as people say.

    As for bicycling, the most dangerous part of those winds was getting blown out of control and being thrown into traffic or an oncoming vehicle. Of course, we've probably all been there at one time or another, regardless of where we live.

    Do I miss those prairie winds? No, not at all, but years of living with those winds have marked me. They're still a part of me, even though I no longer live in that open country with those relentless winds.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 03-28-2018 at 04:32 PM.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,889
    I remember those spring winds! Sadly we really have not had ANY spring here, not just yet. 10+ inches of snow on Saturday, all melted and over an inch of additional rain = flood risk and fog warnings for tomorrow morning. As fat as that list bit - after the snow - I guess that DOES sound like spring in Indiana

    Thankfully my hip and leg is settling down - managed 15 minutes on the ArcTrainer today with no discomfort (just one twinge), before I hit the weight machines for my shoulder PT. Things are looking good for hitting the trails - once things warm up and dry out!

    NW Gal, I remember the winds from when I lived in Nebraska "back in the day". I sort of remember the winters, but I mainly remember the hot summer winds. I seem to have always lived in areas prone to tornadoes for some reason, but there is something about the wind that I love. They were great on the bike here in Indiana - as long as I could manage to get a tail wind! Those cross winds however, ugh!

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,763
    I enjoyed reading your wind stories, NWG. High wind is definitely not funny. We've kayaked in some pretty windy conditions, not dangerous, but just bad enough that it could take 4x as long to return to your starting point as when heading out. I remember some very sore shoulders after that! We quickly learned to head into the wind first if at all possible.

    We also owned a sailboat (Catalina 30) for three years. I much preferred sailing in lighter winds even if it meant a "boring" sail, as when the wind started freshening, at some point it could become scary, sometimes rather quickly. There are obviously things to do to deal with it (reefing sails, and so forth), but I always tended to get in a bit of a panic. Wind also caused choppy waves where we sailed (Neuse River area of NC), and just like your canoe story, we would have to aim the boat into the waves so as not to be hit broadside. Not comfortable sailing at all, nor any fun. We also spent one very looooong night in the boat in our marina slip during a Cat. 1 hurricane, and got blown all night after the power went out. It was super uncomfortable and scary. We had done our prep and all was well, but the boat was banging into the pilings (with fenders in between) all night long. Not many winks of sleep that night! I loved being in the boat and on the water when conditions were mild, but I had no interest in heavy-weather sailing, which is one reason we eventually sold her.

    Looks like we're in for another breezy ride today but not quite as windy as Tuesday, at least per the forecast (10-20 mph SSE).
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
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  4. #19
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,108
    For sure, you don't have to go to the prairies to find wind. We've all had to deal with it , whether riding a bike or whatever. I have not experienced a hurricane and hope I never do. To this day, any big storm makes me very nervous.

    Four or more inches of snow, tomorrow night. Was crossing my fingers that I might escape more snow, but I'm way too far north to get away with that so early in the spring. Did get some good snow melt, yesterday, though, so spring will get here, eventually ... I hope.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    They took the snow stakes out of my work parking lot, so that means, of course, it will snow!
    I've been through a couple of hurricanes as a kid and 2 since 1990, in Massachusetts. Both times, we were very lucky, with no tree damage and only losing power for a couple of hours. Yet, people all around me had terrible damage, all from wind.
    I lived in Florida for almost 5 years and there were no hurricanes.
    Then there are dust storms... those were scary and I had to pull off of the road a few times when I lived in Tempe.
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