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Thread: Snow!

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  1. #16
    Join Date
    May 2013
    north woods of Wisconsin
    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 05:32 PM.



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