High and dry

When my family moved from Texas to Colorado Springs in August 1967 we saw a thick white blanket of snow on Pikes Peak as we drove into town.

“Holy shit,” I thought. “It snows here in August.”

The first day of summer 2011

The big fella wears his white hat on the first day of summer.

We knew something about snow, having lived three years in Ottawa, Canada. But Randolph AFB, Texas, was “a whole other country,” as the slogan has it. It snowed just twice in our five years there — about a zillionth of an inch each time — and the whole place went batshit. Schools closed, non-essential personnel stayed home, and we scratched our heads, wondering what all the fuss was about.

That glimpse of Pikes Peak was a reminder that in some places, it actually does snow enough to cause a fuss. By arriving in summertime we had been spared a massive winter dumper that had set folks in our new suburban neighborhood to heating with ornamental fireplaces and cooking over camp stoves in the absence of utility service.

I’ve seen plenty of the white stuff since, including a four-footer that had us snowshoeing up and down our road in Westcliffe and a couple lesser storms that let us ski the roads and parks here in Bibleburg.

But it’s been a while, and lately even rain is scarce. So I’m always happy to look up and see a little snow on the big hill. We may catch fire down here, but at least we’ll have water to drink, and something to scare Texans with on the first day of summer.

4 Responses to “High and dry”

  1. Duncan Carter Says:

    I’ve been snowed on while riding here in Colorado in ever month except July. I missed July only because I bailed during a Mount Evans ride one Sunday. The following day, the road was closed.

    Duncan, Boulder, CO

  2. Duncan Carter Says:

    Texans in Colorado are scary enough without snow. “Oh, there’s an overpass that’s clear. Let’s speed up.” Texans in Texas are worse. I’m from Louisiana and when it snows which happens perhaps once every five years, everything stops for good reason.

    Duncan, Boulder, CO

  3. Libby Says:

    Great story!

  4. Libby Says:

    So Patrick I wanted to continue the music comment from the “Spring” post. I thought you should listen to (anything by) Toots Thieleman’s “Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most” (East Coast – West Coast, 1994). It would also suit your video. Tracks by Toots and Larry Adler were used to good effect in a play that I saw years ago and I always associate rain with harmonica as a result.

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