I was planning on making the drive to your fine community Wednesday for a nice front page feature on your community health fair and blood drive at the middle school. We don’t get to Aberdeen as much as I’d like, so I thought I’d pay a visit.
There was only one problem. I couldn’t get out of my driveway outside of Blackfoot. Drifting snow ... again.
Please excuse me, and join me in saying to the drifts, “Enough already!”
Aberdeen was the only school system in Bingham County to have classes Wednesday. I made a call early Wednesday morning before trying to head out to make the drive there, making sure the health fair was still on, which it was.
There are two driveways up to where I live, both around 85 yards long. The first one has been buried in drifts for three mornings now. I’ve been powering my way through there two mornings in a row in order to just get out to the frontage road so we can make our way into town.
The second driveway ... forget it. We had hay delivered Monday because we couldn’t get our trailer out with snow piling up. Russ Wootton and his helpers were kind enough to bring out 42 bales in an older Dodge 4x4 truck. He made it through that second driveway okay Monday. I’m not sure how well even he would have made it there Tuesday.
His tracks were a part of deep history.
My daughter works 12-hour shifts in town, from late afternoon to early morning. Her car got high-centered in the drifts as she tried the first driveway Monday morning. We got her out by digging and pushing.
I was hoping we wouldn’t have to do that again. Instead, some of the first words I heard Wednesday as I planned the trip to Aberdeen consisted of, “She’s stuck again.”
This time, Mother Nature had a nasty trick up her sleeve. The snowstorm that hit Tuesday night dropped wetter stuff, making the snow more crusty. I wasn’t about to try and power my way through that in an all-wheel-drive passenger car, so out came the shovels.
Eighty-five yards of driveway, heavier crusty snow sitting on top of powder, with only a pair of shovels to work with — so much for my trip to Aberdeen.
People in Pocatello have talked about how little snow they’ve gotten out of this three-headed storm. Maybe that’s because all the snow they should have gotten ended up blowing through Bingham County.
So that’s three days in a row that almost all of the schools in the county have called off classes because of the weather and road conditions. It prompted Blackfoot School District Superintendent Brian Kress to send out a special message on Facebook Wednesday, which read as follows:
“Blackfoot School District Parents & Guardians,
“I truly believe it is no secret educators openly wish for an occasional snow day. I am also reasonably confident most students harbor the same sentiment. I want to assure you when preparing to make the decision, I always start with the approach we want students in school every day possible. When the weather is iffy, I do my best to wake up and be on the roads between 4:30 a.m. and 4:40 a.m. I drive from the reservation area back through town to Mitchell Lane, across Fullmer Lane, back down Rich Lane, then down Rose Rd., across Porterville Rd., back down Groveland Rd., then Frontage Rd., and finally Riverton Rd., before returning home. If I am successful on my route and I don’t have to turn around, or get stuck, I make a call to our transportation department. The reason I make this call is because a 4x4 truck or AWD vehicle is very different from a bus that has to start and stop and keep from getting pulled into a drift. When I share my thoughts, I ask for their thoughts. When it becomes a question of whether or not buses can make it through, I defer 100% to their discretion. Their experience in these matters is unprecedented.
Once I have all the recommendations, I speak with the chairperson of the school board. Together we make a decision in the best interest of all the students in our district.
“I fully understand the frustration which comes with back-to-back-to-back snow days. The decisions are not made lightly. Our children need to be in school whenever possible. I truly believe we will be able to hold school (today), but hey we do live in Idaho. If a route or two remains impassable, we will do our best to post on our Facebook page which routes worry us. We hope to be back to business as usual starting (today), however, I wanted to share these thoughts with you in case Idaho weather gets us again.
“Thank you for your patience and support, it is greatly appreciated.”
I think we’re all starting to share that frustration.
Hey, Mother Nature, enough already!
At least for now.