Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Snowmageddon North of Rutland
We get a call last evening from Joe D, the person responsible for the multifaceted madness that comprises The Amee Farm. As the narrative unfolds it will become apparent all that this place is and isn’t, but it will take more than one blog entry to explain. Suffice it to say that the word hasn’t been coined to describe what Joe D does. Extremopreneur, Hyperpreneur...add whatever hyperbolic prefix you wish, it doesn’t begin to describe the sheer, and in many instances, wondrous, morass that makes this place such a hoot....He calls us and there is a disaster in progress. (We’re not sure, but he could be exaggerating. Urgency is a great motivator.)
The beams in the General Store, a classically restored cafe and gift shop, are buckling under the weight of perhaps a ton or more of snow and ice. We suit up in snowpants and boots, grab shovels, fire up the tractor and embark a quarter mile down the road to survey the damage. Its no exaggeration, the entire roof, easily eclipsing a thousand square feet, is bloated beyond reason with a three foot layer of dense snow pack. I’ve been to Patagonia and have seen glaciers that were less massive (or maybe my aging memory fails me).
Several nights ago we had a storm that made me question whether the Mayan Calendar was accidentally set ahead a year. A snowstorm that quickly devolved into a whiteout, turned to sleet and freezing rain, and at its apocalyptic climax crescendoed into a barrage of thunder and lightning....in early February...in Central Vermont. We were watching Noodles, Joe D’s pitbull, whose favorite hobby is chasing cars and if successful, devouring their bumpers. The fearsome pooch was reduced to a quivering, hyperventilating basket case that hunkered down next to us and wondered, I’m pretty sure, WTF is the world coming to?
Being the less clever creature, the same neurotic thoughts only came to me a night later as I lay in bed thinking about the structural integrity of barn roofs for the first time in my life. How do roofs tend to collapse? In one big whomp, or in bits in pieces? And if the former scenario takes place, how would one tend to die, in one quick neck breaking flash or in slow torturous asphyxiation while entombed in a cryogenic grave? Early that morning my fear suddenly peaked as a creak and groan sounded from above, and then allayed as great masses of snow slid off the metal roof into piles along the side of the barn.
The slope of the General Store roof didn’t allow for back saving avalanches, so we piled into the tractor shovel that lifted us cherry picker style onto the roof and got to shovelling. Our January thaw is a week away, right on schedule (if you go by the Mayan Calendar).