Okay, for a fly fisherman, it’s getting close to when I have to pull out a chainsaw just to fish. You just cut a 3 foot circle in the ice and then a 25 foot long, one foot wide slot leading to the circle. Bob's your uncle, you can fly fish in the Winter in Nebraska.
But first, you have to get by the blizzards. Yes, I said the ugly word, blizzard.
For those of you that have never experienced a blizzard, go to your favorite ski slope at night. When they turn on the snow making machine, place a 50' wide fan behind it and crank it up to hurricane. Now stand there in the -10 degree weather with this in your face for 3 days. This is a blizzard. Wind chills down so low, atoms slow down. The upside, your mother-in-law will stay in West Palm Beach for Christmas instead of camping out in your spare bedroom.
Tuesday, we were scheduled to open Nebraska's Donner Party Season with a bit of wind and snow. Everyone makes a mad dash to the grocery store for toilet paper and milk. The only reason I can figure for this important combination is that folks sit around in their snow forts and make cocoa from chocolate-flavored ExLax. Just don't ask about the marshmallows. Really.. Don't.
Tuesday morning dawns and I call the snow line for work. SNOW DAY! Bonus. Let’s get the snow blower up to speed. I then remember the fun of using a snow blower in the wind. The snow comes back in your face, covering you from head to foot, you end up looking like the looser in a chainsaw ice block carving contest (I love chainsaws).
Hmm, okay, up in the man cave over the garage is a box with a cab for my snow blower. I bought it on Summer clearance sale a couple of years before. I get the thing down and install it.
It is a three-sided cab made of clear plastic with a steel tube frame that mounts on the handle bars. You put it on, step into the open back and plow away. Great. I take it out for the first test run that afternoon. Snow has covered my 120' driveway and I clear it away. Wind is at about 5 to 10 mph, snow blows back at me. Nothing, nada. Face is clear. Thing works like a charm.
Wednesday... another snow day. The difference being is that the wind has circled around from the North, the isobars tightened up and its howling. Snow's not coming down, its coming sideways. Three to five foot drifts cover my yard with two feet of blown snow over the driveway.
This is what my serious snow blowing machine was made for. Nine horse Brigs and Stratton behind a 29" throat, dual stage, six gears forward, two in reverse, power-drive, electric-start monster. Now outfitted with the ever important cab. Bwahahahaha!
I start up the driveway, wind swirls, blowing the snow 50 feet into the air. A few crystals make it past the cab, but nothing like it would be without it. I have about 3/4 of the drive done and am making passes up and down. On about the sixth pass, I turn the beast around in the street... and then... just as I pull the lever down to engage the power drive, a 50 mph gust catches the cab from behind.
The snow blower is now rocket propelled. It shoots forward, pulling me off my feet. I'm holding onto the handlebars as the monster goes mach snot down the driveway dragging me behind it. I'm now stretched out with my knees and toes making dual tracks in the snow. The Dickies insulated coveralls burst into flame, finally warming my frozen feet. I'm a snow blowing comet!
The snow chute on the machine spins like a top. Snow shooting out in all directions, flames out the back, the snow cone maker from Hell has a life of its own. I blast a chunk of snow through the neighbor's window, instantly flocking his Christmas tree. I think I’m flocked too.
More comes out the chute, not just snow, but the newspaper. It’s a frozen missile that takes out 17 tobogganers two blocks over. It’s like bowling with a shot put.
The crazed ice yacht takes the path of least resistance and whips around the house where the wind has cleared the snow. I crash through the fence, streaming wire like a Rorschach Christmas garland.
I then zip through the back yard where the dog does his business. Now the thing has become an instrument of mass destruction. Its shooting out tiny icy B.M.s.
The dog is running for its life. I'm afraid he's not going to make it. He then decides it’s a game, circles back and jumps for the snow coming out the top. Snow shoots down his throat, out the back end and writes Froehliche Weihnachten in Chinese characters on the side of the house (he's half dachshund, half Maltese).
And finally, as I'm about to crash through the garage, the cab flips over on top of the snow blower. The snow blower glides ever so calmly to a stop, I get to my feet, turn the machine into the wind, flip the cab back up before it can burst into flames from the heat of the motor, dump snow on my smoldering knees (hey, these coveralls look better in charcoal black), examine the pedicure on my toes, wonder where my boots are, and turn off the machine. The dog comes over and looks at me with that look of disappointment only a dog can muster. He pees on my leg.
I wheel the snow blower into the garage, wander into the house, and buy a ticket for the Bahamas, one-way. Never again.