I parked my tractor at 10AM. That's late for this season...I had a vague realization that felt like déjà vu...MuscleHead Memory call it. Last night we enjoyed the tail end of the third of five winter storms that are blasting the High Sierra this week. Thanks to BR350 power, we got lots of corduroy laid down across the Mountain and we had all the mission-critical digging done before sunrise!
That vague, MuscleHead Memory goes way back to when I was barely past Rookie Status. Back in the early 80's we had some similar Storm Sieges...weeks-long periods of hammering blizzards, that dumped copious amounts of snow on the High Sierra people who fought together valiantly to stay ahead of the burgeoning snowfall. This was the when I learned to pace myself...to mete out my effort so as not to shortchange the Mountain while saving enough in reserve so I could keep my own life ahead of the game. You learn to keep a lid on your emotions, so your reserves aren't wasted on non-essential pursuits, so those reserves are available when push comes to shove.
Having a whole fleet of modern BR350 grooming machines certainly makes the whole endeavor easier...these cats have more gumption than anything we ran twenty-something years ago... geometrically more!
Modern technology makes the struggle at home that much easier, too. Modern Honda Snowblowers make quick work of blowing the snow outta the driveway...moving tons of snow hourly, where back in the day it was done with a snow shovel. There's no way to conserve your energy when you're shoveling snow after working 12+ hours behind the sticks!
Up to the second information gathering allows much better planning at work and home. A quick scan of the latest radar images lets me decide how early I need to get out the door on worknights...allowing for extra time to blow the driveway, extra time on the road when I have to take the Interstate during Chain Controls instead of the Old Highway which gets closed during big storms by the CHP.
All the tech and planning fall to the wayside once I'm in my cat, going toe to toe with Mother Nature. One the mountain, during the battle it's just parry and thrust, action and reaction...hours become minutes and days grow longer...
The Winter of 83-84 was epic on the Mountain. My shifts averaged 14 hours between January and April! We took refuge in the Yucatan in May. It was funny, we ran into some other groomers down there...decompressing and getting a solar recharge, too.