Sunday, March 19, 2006

Adventures in Visiting

Today I woke up to blowing snow, cold temperatures, and about 20 feet of visibility.
I was in Nunap. A snow-go ride away from my computer, lesson plans, grade book, and clean undies.

At about 1 o’clock we decided to make an attempt at the necessary journey back home. Two of my good snow-go owning friends offered to brave the storm and drive us back.

Geared up with GPS and enough clothing to make a person sweat, we hit the trail.

The storm was raging, limiting our sight to only a few precious meters.

We rode on for 15 minuets. The entire ride should take about 10.
Eventually, the leader of the pack came to a stop.

We were in the middle of a white out.
We had lost the trail.
We could not see. Anything.

Imagine looking before you are seeing only white. No definition between the ground and the sky. No shadowed shades of gray.
It is a truly odd feeling.
A vision of nothing.

We knew not what lay ahead of us, where we were, or even if we were headed in the right direction.
In the cold and blowing snow we discussed our situation.
One of our party ventured forth into the blank canvas of our environment, attempting in vain to see if walking those few extra feet would show us the way.
For a few seconds, when he was 30 some feet away, he disappeared.
White out.

The only thing we knew for sure was how to get back.
So that’s what we did.

Hours later, after nearly tearing my hair out for fear of missing school the next day, the weather cleared. We could see distances greater than the span of our arms with great clarity.

Once again donning our gear we hit the trail.
The last few days, weeks, dare I say months, have covered the tundra with a deceptively think layer of snow.
Much of that occurred in the past couple of days. The blowing snow created drifts that are nearly impossible for a snow-go to transverse.

Riding along we, again, were hindered by a lost trail. This time it remained within our sites but was a drift or two away. Once again the caravan slowed to a halt.
“I don’t know how deep the snow is, so if we take it, we have to drive fast.”

The faster you go, the less likely you are to get stuck.

The drivers gunned it over the drifts and back to the trail.
The passengers, myself and my fellow Kasigluk resident, walked to lighten the load.

(By “walked” I do mean “waded” through the, at times knee to thigh deep snow)

The ride was successful, in a matter of minutes we were back in the warmth of our homes and my bag’o lesson planning goodness.

Through all this, I have to say, I love snow-go’s. I truly do want one of my very own.

anything for the schoolkiddies, right? i'm sure tempting death was worth it ;)
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Meter