David Pressgrove: Wondering about a winter wonderland


Writing about the weather is about as original as putting peanut butter and jelly on bread, but I have to do it. This winter is so wacky, I just have to do it.

Whether you hate snowy, cold winters or look forward to the white stuff as much as a child anticipates Christmas, you have to agree -- this winter has been about as typical as wearing your underwear on the outside.

There is one sign in Craig that leads me to think about our lack of snow more than anything else. Outside of T&H Napa Auto Parts is a sign that asks, "Got Tire Chains?"

In almost any other winter, the sign would make perfect sense. But if a Californian drove through on Highway 40 today and read the sign, they would look around at the melting, black piles of the snow and think: "Dude, these people need tire chains about as much as Gov. Scharwzenegger needs a paycheck.'"

It's been tough around here for anybody that has the word "snow" in their title. The average life expectancy of a snowman in Northwest Colorado has declined by at least five days just from this year.

A traditional attraction to Craig in the winter is at least one or two snocross races. That's not the case this year. All of the races had to be moved. There's only enough snow here to make a snocross track for squirrels that race on remote-control snow machines.

The term Global Warming may come to mind as a reason for our less-than-winter-like winter. But according to one of my journalism professors, I'm not qualified to speak about the phenomenon. I wrote a term paper in college and researched both sides. I was given a B- because the paper was, as my professor wrote, "at best, inconclusive."

If it is Global Warming, then it's the kind where God has taken a magnifying glass and pointed the sunlight just at our region. Everywhere else snow has fallen.

Look east (three feet of snow in Boston). Look West (massive avalanches in Utah). Look south (Telluride has had a record year of snowfall). Look north (well, I'm sure there's lots of snow in Canada). Snow is all around us, just not on us.

It reminds me of those snow globes that simulate a snowstorm floating down when shaken. When I was little, I would try to get at least one flake on every house in the scene. There was always that one house that would always end up flakeless. This year Northwest Colorado represents that house.

The only consolation for me is that this was the first year I didn't buy a ski pass for Steamboat Springs. A dry January has left Mount Werner in serious, to critical, condition, with the need for some emergency CPR (Champagne Powder Resuscitation).

Because I'm writing about how miserable the weather has performed this winter I fully expect it to prove me wrong soon. I hope as you read this today it's dumping snow outside. Maybe we can have a record February for snow. I won't take full credit because then everybody would blame me and make me shovel their sidewalks.

However, I will take enough credit to receive a percentage of tire chains sold at T&H.

Let it snow.

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