January 28, 2014

Mark Millican: Snow or frozen fingers?

When I flipped on the light and looked out the window onto the back porch of our Beaver Forest home on Wednesday of last week, I thought, “Oh no, the roads!” The snow didn’t actually provide a good blanket effect — like an inch or so — but it was enough to cause concern.

I woke my wife Teresa so she could be concerned with me, but deep in my heart I knew she would be excited, especially if she didn’t have to go to work. That girl is crazy about snow.

Me? Not so much, especially on a morning we have to get the weekly newspaper out on the street. (Yes, the editor at a weekly can also be involved in circulation.) That attitude would change immensely, I’m sure, if we had several inches and I could play in it with my grandsons.

I called the Coosawattee River Resort front gate — where many folks from Whitfield and Murray counties enter to access their properties here — and asked them about road conditions, and was told the trucks were out putting down salt on the main drags. Once I was out on a paved road, I could see where others had traveled before, and it also appeared the snow was very dry and had blown off the road leaving tracks I could follow.

Creeping down the big hill that can be so troublesome during a snow, I breathed a sigh of relief upon reaching the bottom. A work truck with a snow plow on front passed me going up the hill.

“The Blizzard of ’93” came to mind as I recalled how the snow and winds came in on a Friday night and all day Saturday that March. But I have to give a shout-out to the Coosawattee roads crew. By Sunday they had the main roads cleared, while out in the county the roads took motorists through what looked like a war zone with fallen trees everywhere.

I had to drive to Chatsworth and back on Monday after the blizzard on what had become a single-track highway (282) that veered back-and-forth where trees had been chainsawed out of the way. If you met a vehicle coming from the opposite direction, you took one track with your left wheels and ran the right tires on frozen snow, and the other driver did the same — very carefully.

As cold as it’s been this January, and as wet as the last year was, there was a collision of the elements Tuesday. There was plenty of the white stuff around North Georgia, including in Whitfield and Murray counties.

That’s pretty rough on fingers when you’re having to deal with plastic-strapped bundles of newspapers and cold metal paper boxes, and the work is too meticulous to use gloves the whole time. A little snow instead of wind chills around zero isn’t be so bad.

Just sayin’...

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