Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Oh, No. Snow!


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Well, it has been quite cold here in normally balmy South Carolina.  The temperatures have been below freezing for several days at a time.  Rather unusual for us. 

Fortunately, there has been little precipitation around home.  Otherwise, we would have been subjected to accumulations of that white, fluffy stuff. I forget what they call it....

Now, I was born a Yankee (definition: somebody who comes from a Northern state), but I have been in the south for many years now, and I don't miss that white stuff much at all.  Rusty cars, heavy shoveling, roads with ruts instead of lanes, frozen door locks, high heating bills, etc., etc. ...and no motorcycle riding for several months out of the year, though I didn't have one back then.  

Over this last weekend, the temperature went up into the low 50s, so I went out for a quick ride to Whitewater Falls, a place I have been many times in my riding career.  Some of those times are chronicled here:
But this time, I spotted something I had not previously seen there. 

Someone had built a snowman, and there were remnants of snow on the ground way over there on the shady side of the hill. 
Now, the elevation difference from home to the falls is about 1500 feet, so the temperatures are colder up there.  Hence the ...oh, now I remember...snow. 

Fortunately, all of the roads to get there were clear of debris, salt, and gravel, so the ride was easier that it might otherwise have been.  The roads, US-178 from Pickens to SC-11 and SC-130 from SC-11 north to the North Carolina state line, are a great succession of mostly sweeping curves.  The wind was very gusty, however, and was particularly strong in open areas.  It pushed me sideways a few times, but it was manageable. I was bundled up enough that I didn't even feel a cold draft anywhere.  

That is an interesting feeling, almost an invincibility -- the wind howling and cold, but not affecting you.  Those nice warm heated grips and Hippo Hands help a lot, too. 

I didn't stay long at the park, and didn't hike the trail to the falls itself this time, as my daylight was failing.  I saddled up and made my way back down 130 and then cut through on SC-133 and Shady Grove Road to Pickens and home.   Again, all sweepers.

I didn't time it, but it didn't seem to take as long going up and coming down 130 as it usually does.  This time around, there were no cars or trucks that slowed me down in either direction.  That could be it.  Maybe I was enjoying it so much that the time passed quickly.  Or, maybe I am riding a little faster.  Not sure.  

Anyway, it was good to get out on a clear day in the middle of winter.

Snow, keep away! 

Oh, by the way, let me give you some perspective on the size of that snowman.  

Cute, eh?  I am sure, though, that little man is long gone by today.  


January 28, 2014, 7:30 PM

Update.  Well, I thought the little snowman would be melted by today, but the way it looks now, the snow followed me down to the lower elevations, and they got more at Whitewater Falls, too. 

We got about an inch here, but this paralyzes us here in the South, where I think we have one snow plow for all six or seven southeastern states.  The snow certainly prevents two-wheeled travel in all but the most unusual cases.  Maybe like this guy: 

Found on AdV Rider Forum
Fortunately, the snow does not usually last very long.  Here's hoping. 

See you on the roads again after the thaw! 
 

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1 comment:

bob skoot said...

Bucky:

Luckily we haven't had any snow yet either, but it gets below freezing sometimes and we get frost in the morning, so no riding for us

We don't have any snow plows either, Just a few trucks with those blades in front

bob
Riding the Wet Coast