Friday, February 11, 2011

More snow!

Surprisingly, we have had a lot of snow this year in Little Rock. The big storm that blew through town earlier this week dumped almost seven inches of snow here, which is a lot but not nearly as much as the 20 inches that fell on Fayetteville. But the recent snow has helped to turn the winter of 2011 into one of the snowiest winters on record here. The most recent winter where we saw this much snow was way back in the 1980s. I do remember that one year when we got 10 inches of snow, way back when I was in the 3rd grade. The snow, and temperatures below freezing that prevented it from melting, resulted in us missing a few weeks of school. Good times, even if meant me missing weeks of important 3rd grade education, like learning how to subtract (I'll master that one of these days).

But the most recent big snow started last Wednesday afternoon. All the schools and most businesses closed down that morning, since the weather people were predicting massive amounts of snowfall. Everything was closed, of course, except for the place where I work. The office was open, so I drove off to work. When I cruised into the parking lot at 7:25am, the snow was already falling and sticking to the pavement. The snow quickly accumulated, so by the time the office decided to close at 8:15, there was already a inch or two of snow on the roads.

So I was allowed to go home, after being at work for 45 minutes. The roads had quickly deteriorated into a messy state. Cars weren't able to drive up any hills thanks to a sheet of snow and ice. I was stuck at the bottom of a hill on Chenal Parkway, watching cars slowly climb up and then stop and slowly slide back down. I turned around, and managed to find a way out that wasn't blocked by stuck cars. After being at work for 45 minutes, it took me an hour and a half to get home (granted I did stop to buy beer on the way).

That afternoon, I decided to attempt another trip out into the snow. I wish that I live near a neat old barn or maybe a waterfall that would look neat in the snow. Instead I visited a few places that are close to my apartment...

The first stop was this stretch of woods, located adjacent to my apartment complex. The snow was several inches deep, but light and fluffy, so it wasn't a problem to walk through. I only fell down once while out taking pictures.

The next stop was to visit a junk yard, which has hundreds of rusty and desolate looking cars parked there, seemingly forever. I stood at the fence and shot a few pictures as the snow piled on the relics in the old automobile graveyard.
I've been wanting to get shots from here for awhile, but had heard that the old guy who lives there hates people nosing around his collection of rusting and decaying cars. The rumor is that he will come out and yell at anyone who comes close. I don't know if the stories are true, but I didn't linger too long, especially after hearing some warning barks from a distant guard dog.

But perhaps that old man is just tragically misunderstood, like the old guy in Home Alone. I'd like to think that he would come to my aid when two burglars, who have already thwarted my elaborately staged hi jinks, are trying to break into my apartment when I'm all by myself.

The next stop was the Park On The River, located on the edge of Maumelle. This is a neat little park, which runs by a small lake before running down to the edge of the Arkansas River. The snow was deep there, especially along the lake. I went down and got a shot of the lake, part of which had a sheet of ice, and this snow-covered log.

And another shot of the lake...

I was surprised to see another person out at the park, and I quickly assumed that it was a city parks worker. I asked him if it was ok to take pictures out there, since the park was probably closed because of the snow. He looked at me like I was crazy, and said, "sure why not, take some pictures." Turns out he didn't work for the city, and was just some random person who went out to look at the park in the snow.

So I headed down the hill, where there are some picnic tables set up along the Arkansas River. Here is a shot of one of the picnic tables, covered with snow, with Pinnacle Mountain in the distance.

A few minutes later, a guy on a 4-wheeler drove by. He had a country music station playing on the 4-wheeler, and had a dog riding along with him. He stopped by where I was standing to say hi, and said that he wanted to take a ride with the dog in the snow. As I made my way back up the hill, I could hear the dog barking and having a good time in the snow.

About halfway up the hill, I turned around and got a shot looking back towards the river. The tracks are from the 4-wheeler, and the footprints are ones that I made.

Most of the snow as now already melted, and will be gone soon. Now the weather people are predicting highs up into the 70s in a few days.

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