This week I'm going to let the photos do the speaking. Here's what I'll tell you. I'm still located in north central West Virginia on the West Virginia-Maryland border (the Potomac River) about 23 miles south of Cumberland, Maryland. This is all a very rural region. It's known as the Potomac Highlands although the small town I'm located in is actually in a small valley at about 800 feet above sea level, surrounded by mountains that probably range from 400 to 800 feet higher.
I had planned to be in warmer climates by this time, but “Stuff Happens” and, while the stuff was not of my own making, I agreed to stay around the area to provide assistance for my friend and my sister. I had no intention of experiencing another blizzard in my lifetime. I've weathered many of them in New Jersey, central New York, Annapolis, Maryland and Winchester, Virginia. My snow preference is to watch it on TV, in movies, see it in photos or, on occasion, visit the snow with the intent of immediately leaving it behind.
This blizzard impacted at least 11 states according to the news people. I needed to be far from here to miss the impact. Obviously, I didn't make it. So, I'm literally up to my butt, that is at least 28,” in snow. You can see by the photos of My McVansion, that this is serious business. It reminds me of my days living in Syracuse, New York. But, then in 2010, I was in my former hometown in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Winchester, when a snow event affectionately named “Snowmageddon” hit the entire region and left behind about five feet of snow from two back to back blizzards. This one has been called “Snowpocalypse” and “Snowzilla.” There are areas like Winchester where 36” was logged and just north of there as much as 40.”
These photos were taken at the peak of the blizzard just before it began to taper off. The van is parked next to my friend's house where I base camp when I'm in the east. It's powered up with shore power and the battery charger is keeping the batteries topped off. I also have my tiny, ceramic, space heater heating the interior to prevent it from freezing up inside. If you look at the digital thermometer photo, the number at the bottom is the interior temperature of the van. It reads a comfortable 62 degrees.
I had already turned it down by then, but during the peak of the storm at night when the outside temperatures were in the low to mid teens, it was actually 72 degrees in the van. I turned it down again after I took that photo since I'm not staying in the van right now. My friend has graciously provided use of a cozy, warm room in her home. But, I would have been quite comfortable, though probably suffering from “cabin fever” had I been staying in the van.
The van won't be moving for several days as of this time. There is a plowed pile of snow about 6' high between the van and the road, so some melting is going to have to occur before those tires will touch pavement again. I'm now hoping that between now and the time the various circumstances keeping me in this region are cleared, no further storms appear on the radar screen. Once again, when I leave, I'll be stating I don't plan to experience another of these winter snow events.
Live free and be happy (and stay warm). EH