"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds...

Except this courier.   Except this courier when it snows.   Except this courier when there's six to twelve inches of snow on the Hope Road and it takes 45 minutes to drive 16 miles at 30 mph in four-wheel drive with studded snow tires.

Oh, and deliver mail at the same time.   Not this courier.

It all began Monday morning because Sunday evening there wasn't a hint of what was going to happen while I was deep into Daniel Silva's sixth novel about Israeli "operative" Gabriel Allon.   I wasn't looking out the window and I had no idea of the mischief occurring out there.

So the alarm goes off at 8 A.M., and I'm out of the shower at 8:15, and THEN I look out the window.

And then I cuss.   Out loud.

Four inches of new snow where then had been none when I went to bed.

And I hurry to get dressed and head to the garage where I unload half a truck load of firewood from the back of my truck because the mini-van still has summer tires and no way was I going to deliver mail in a car with summer tires. 

Pablo's pissed, as usual, because he heard the alarm and that means I'm leaving home.  Too bad, Pablo.   Erin's out of town and I'm doing the mail route for her.

You just stay in the house and keep warm, Pablo.   I shall return.

We're off and rolling and it's snowing heavily.   The swans are still at Tern Lake because the lake has yet to freeze.

The Seward Highway wasn't bad at all because the highway crews do that first.

Twenty-five miles later, though, I reach the Hope Road.   This is a low priority road as far as seeing quality time with the snow plows are concerned.

Two ruts down the road weren't bad.   Meeting other cars was okay, too, because the snow as fairly light.   We each pulled over as far as we could and passed each other slowly.

Made it to Hope almost on schedule, picked up the mail, and headed out.

A yellow-legged sandpiper sat on a stump on the side of the road.   What?!!!   This time of year???

Oh.   Not a sandpiper after all.

This is when things got dicey.   The snow was wetter and more tracked up, the kind that likes to toss you around just to make sure you are paying attention.   And have a death grip on the steering wheel.

Frosted mini-wheats?

And a hemlock down across part of the road.

And 45 minutes later, I reached the Seward Highway and headed  for Cooper Landing to deliver more mail.

And it was fine.   The storm was breaking up and everything was wonderful.

I glanced at Jerome Lake as I went by and pulled into a rest area.    This is the strangest looking ice I've ever seen.

And driving conditions in Cooper Landing?   Ten miles from my house, there was almost no snow.

Pretty colors, though.

A raven finds something to eat.

Just another day delivering mail in Alaska.

Home again.   Now to spend some quality time with Pablo.


  1. "Frosted mini-wheats" made me LOL !!
    PS: No snow yet here in far-north Florida.

  2. Nothing like unexpected, over-night snow to get your attention, especially when you then have "an assignment" to be out on the road. No snow yet either in London, Ontario, Canada where we are at the moment in a VERY noisy library. I may go out to the car to read and get back the serenity I started with before coming here! Thanks for the reality check on your day starting in Moose Pass. Hugs. Patti & Cap

  3. Waking up to that snowfall would have made me swear too!!! Especially when you have work to do out in it. Moving the firewood at least got your blood circulating for the challenge ahead?!

    I'm glad the driving conditions weren't terrible and that things settled down. You have some awesome photos as a reward for getting the mail delivered. You and your camera are winners.