February 26, 2011 by Yugen
Winter has reasserted herself, shaking off the Spring-like days of sunshine and pleasantness, becoming big and bad again. Last week we had three days of snow, ending up with an average of 18 inches on the ground. We spent all weekend shoveling, plowing and scraping and remarkably we got it all done with no major hitches (apart from two stuck trucks and one broken 4WD driveline on the GMC plow). The Sunday program ended up being canceled, as although we had the road open and it was passable, it was still risky for regular cars as they could have skidded or gotten stuck. We still had a few new attendees show up, however, so Jishin ran an impromptu meditation introduction class for them. Chigen was up for the weekend helping out, and he took some great photos of the snowy mountain. I'm very glad he did as I totally forgot. I'll be using one of his pictures for the monthly eNewsletter which will go out on March 1st.
Tomorrow we will make the call as to whether the Sunday program will go ahead or not. Most likely it will not, as we are expecting as much, if not more, snow then we got last week. For any folks considering the drive up, please check the news section on the website (www.zmc.org) before setting out, or call the office at 951-659-5272 and listen to the message regarding current conditions, or perhaps even speak to a real-life person if you are lucky. It's a shame to have to cancel two weeks in a row, but at the tail end of a snow storm, there aren't many people who have a vehicle cut out for getting up here even with the roads plowed, or the experience to drive in the conditions, and out of those that fit the prior criteria, there are probably just a few that actually want to come up on such a day.
Turtle Rock AKA Jabba the Hutt
Roshi's Subaru is back together and no longer leaks copious amounts of oil. We are keeping our fingers crossed it stays that way. Dave Vasilis also took care of a number of other jobs including welding the tailpipe back on to the white Toyota pickup. Unfortunately the muffler on it has rotted, so come smog time it might need some more work. The Dodge truck which we used last week for snowplowing only works when we beat the starter with a broom handle. And even then, it is tricky to get going, and impossible with only one person. We've got a new starter on order which I'll put in next week. The GMC's 4WD broke just before the storm (a YZMC tradition) so it was largely out of action. We did actually plow down hill with it in 2WD, but in the second pass down it got stuck and we towed it out after the storm using both the Dodge and the tractor. It is a heavy truck! I took the driveline from the GMC in to a specialist shop who fixed it and now it's bolted back on, we once again have 4WD on the snow plow which actually has a functioning heater. A real plus at 6:00 in the morning. Working 4WD and heat. An almost unbeatable combination. If only it had a coffee cup holder...