Sunday, February 3, 2013


We got some unexpected snow in my town last night.  It caught the department of transportation folks by surprise, so there wasn't any equipment on the roads clearing it.  It was only a couple inches, so it wasn't a big deal really.  We were at an art show, and upon leaving had to make our way home, about 15 miles.  It took longer than normal but the roads weren't hazardous.  The other drivers were, but sticking to the less traveled roads alleviated a bit of that.  I did miss my Subaru that I sold last spring.  That car ruled all in the snow.

This morning after breakfast I grabbed my Bug Out Bag and set off for a walk through my neighborhood.  I'd like to call my zip code working class, but I'm not sure if enough of my neighbors have steady employment to affix that label.  It's a neighborhood of small 2 and 3 bedroom houses with good sized yards so we get a lot of young families.

But when there is a few inches of snow on the ground, even my neighborhood is pretty.  But doing nothing but walking for an hour I noticed a few things.  Even though I had on a 45 lb pack which makes walking in the snow more challenging than just walking down the hallway, walking on it's own is still rather dull.

First, a refreshing amount of people in my neighborhood walk.  I'd guess most of them walk because they don't have a car, but I saw a half dozen people walking with a bag from the local grocer or quickie mart.  I think we'd all be better off (especially me!) if we walked more and drove less.  Interestingly, most of these people walked in the street, which was cleared by now, rather than the sidewalk.  For most of my journey, I was the first set of human footprints in the snow of the sidewalk.  But observing footwear, the other walkers were wearing casual shoes or sneakers, rather than something more suitable for foul weather.  I found that interesting.

Also interesting was the complete lack of kids going door to door with shovels.  When I was a kid fresh snow was a way to make $20 bucks in a couple hours.  It was often a race to see who could get to the houses with old people first who would often pay $5 to shovel their drive and walk.  I didn't see any of this today.

I did see on multiple occasions dog prints on the sidewalk with no human prints nearby.  This doesn't surprise me, but I bet lots of people would be surprised that sometimes dogs roam about in the suburbs without supervision.  I've found it to be pretty commonplace. 

The last thing that struck me is there were several trees that had budded.  The first week of February is way too early for that, perhaps it was driving by some unseasonably warm days recently.  And speaking of warmth, anyone who spends any time walking or riding a bike can tell you that the temperature on concrete, and especially blacktop, it noticeably warmer than grassy or forested areas.  The more of our world we pave, the warmer it is going to be.  I wonder why that is never brought up in discussions about global warming?  It seems pretty obvious to me that the more urban area we have on the planet, the warmer the average temperature is going to be.

It was a nice walk overall, I should do it more often.

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