Truth be told, Mrs. Cog and I were a bit excited as Snowzilla 2016 (winter storm Jonas) approached from the south. We were expecting snow totals of 18 to 24 inches...and possibly even more, along with winds of 40-60 MPH up here on the mountain.
While we got the wind (and are still getting it as of this writing, Sat morning 01-23-2016) the snow was essentially a no show. It started early Friday morning around 5 am, but by 1 pm had turned to sleet and stayed that way all day and into the night.
We live on the edge of the Blue Ridge plateau facing south, about 10 miles from the North Carolina border in Southwestern Virginia. And when I say 'edge' I mean the very edge. Our south facing property line runs along a steep cliff that drops more than a 1/4 mile down to a much lower, and warmer, elevation.
Because of our physical location we experience a micro climate up here. There is almost always at least a breeze and often wind of at least 5-10 mph. Go just a 1/4 mile further inland and the temps are usually warmer, the wind less, the rain or snow less and the people just as nice. I suspect the freeze line was just south of our ridge during this storm, thus the reason for the sleet rather than snow. Once we venture out we will discover if our neighbors received more snow than us.
On the one hand we are grateful we weren't snowed in for days or weeks up here. On the other, we were looking forward to pretty snow fall and snow ball fights. Not so much the snow shoveling. It's an interesting psychological conundrum to feel 'let down' by a less-worse-than-expected snow storm and speaks directly to our sense of long term preparedness and the lack of fear of being homestead bound for long periods of time.
There is a part of us that wishes to test our ability to survive comfortably a variety of severe conditions. Then again, maybe not. We have spent the last three years getting ready for.....whatever, and now are just a little impatient to get on with the socioeconomic collapse. We don't wish anyone distress or worse. But we know distress will happen and the longer it's delayed, the worse it will be.
Anyway, please find several images below of the conditions up here on the mountain Saturday morning 01-23-2016.
The front of our log cabin with the two outbuildings to the right. Snow drifts were nearly 18 inches deep, but overall the 'snow/sleet' wasn't more than 8 inches in many places.
A closer look at the two out buildings. To the left is a small 10'x10' building (our barn) presently used to store tools, wheel barrels and such. To the right is a 20'x20' garage used to store the tractors, lawnmowers, log splitter and such. Unfortunately both building are presently so full of 'stuff' they serve no other purpose than as storage buildings, thus the reason we are building a new 'barn'. In between the two buildings is our water wood stove boiler, the heat source for our home and all the hot water we use. It can also heat the garage if so desired.
I have not been able to string together two or more days of decent weather to continue building our new 16'x18' barn. Hopefully I won't need to wait until spring to finish it.
Another view of the 'barn' construction site from the road. All the construction material is stacked to the right and left, fully covered to protect from the ice and snow. As a former remodeling contractor I can assure you there is nothing worse than working with snow and ice covered lumber. Except maybe working with snow and ice covered lumber in the mud.
The (dirt) road to civilization. Follow this for about a mile and you eventually hit black top. About an hour after this image was taken the local farmer came by with his John Deere tractor with plows attached and liberated us. I had called him yesterday, before the snow really began to fall, and asked him if he could also plow out our circular driveway when he made his way up the road. I am grateful he did so. Two minutes and two passes with his John Deere saved me several hours of shoveling. We really have no idea how much a gallon of gas or diesel fuel saves us in manual labor. My Hybrid vehicle gets 44 miles per gallon of gasoline. I could not imagine pushing my car 44 miles.
A look at what I have come to describe as our 'used car lot'. The two SUV's to the right and the gold pickup truck nearly hidden in the back are all 4-wheel drive. The hybrid to the left and the little white car in back are not. The windshield wipers were raised in surrender to Mother Nature. She showed us mercy and didn't drop the projected two feet of snow.