Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tacoma Wearing a Blanket

Mostly this is a post about the last two weeks so that I can share a bunch of my snow-in-Tacoma pictures with people.

It's interesting how a city changes when it's blanketed in snow. Especially in downtown Tacoma, all the snow made it feel like we were the only people around. In fact, as we were walking the only other person we ran into was a photographer for the News Tribune. I remember snow like this when I was little, but even the snow we had a couple of years ago wasn't as heavy as this. We wound up getting about four inches, then a quarter inch of ice, and then another couple of inches. We got it a lot better than most people, but it was impossible to leave the apartment by car for a few days. Especially since we have a Mini Cooper and it just doesn't have the things you need for driving in snow.

There's a bit of controversy right now about Seattle and their methods of clearing snow and ice from roads. See, they don't actually use salt because of environmental concerns. Instead they have rubber-tipped snowplows that compact the snow and ice, and then sand trucks to give traction. This is rather silly from a toxicology standpoint because from my understanding the fresh water sources around here suffer from turbidity more than they would from salt. Turbidity caused by runoff of silt and sand. So it's still difficult to get around because the plows are lame and our Mini doesn't have four wheel drive or much clearance. Some side roads are still ice blocks with huge ruts and mostly impassable for us.

We had fun with it, though after a few days both of us were tired of it. I was actually looking forward to going to work so that I could just get out of the house and go somewhere else for a while. You could tell a lot of people felt cooped up by the snow. Work was a lot slower as we ended more and more tests before the holidays. Since everybody was going sort of stir crazy, we all decided to have a bit of fun. Though it was mostly Eric doing the construction, there soon was a snowman standing in front of our lab. Soon followed the next day by a 15 foot snow... sentinel tower.

So now things are starting to melt, which is good because we really need to go grocery shopping again. It was beautiful while it lasted, and when we visited Andy's folks at American Lake for Christmas Day, the lake was still as glass except for all the Northern Shovelers and gorgeous as the sun was setting.

No comments: