Tag Archives: play

Cave Hill Olympics Vol. 4

Last winter Olympics we had a couple of back to back snows and grandkids coming.  We bought a couple of plastic toboggans in anticipation.  Once our friendly farmer neighbor with the behemoth tractor with a heated cab plowed us out, we drove to town, resupplied and parked the 4 wheel drive SUV at the top of the driveway.  With the toboggans in the back, we loaded the groceries onto the toboggans and before Mountaingdad could turn around, I hopped into one with the groceries and started sliding down the driveway of packed snow and ice.  He quickly caught on and hopped in the other one to race me.  Each time we had to go out for supplies, we dragged one of them to the top of the drive (2/10 mile) and hauled the supplies back down to the house.  When the kids arrived, the fun really began and we took many photos of kids and adults, us included, sledding down the various hills on the property.  The biggest kid was our son in law, the one still in Florida trying to sell their house, but he is flying in today for the weekend and some snow fun.

The day after our foot of snow this week, we dragged the sleds out and bundled everyone up for some snow play.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce we struggled uphill to the top of the drive, sledding down hills as we went and hauling the 3 year old on one sled, we discovered that the road had been plowed by a pickup truck with a front blade and it as it is downhill from the paved road to the bottom of Cave Hill (the hill beyond our house), it made a great toboggan run.  All of us, from the youngest, with an adult to the most senior of us, took turns sliding down the slick packed hill, laughing and getting snow covered.

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Last night after 8 p.m., the neighbor farmer and his behemoth with enough lights to light up our house, plowed us out.  We had gotten an additional couple of inches of snow yesterday, it was 13f (-10.5c) with strong wind blowing snow in whiteouts.

We woke to -1f (-18.3c) with a high today of only 4f (-15.5c) and a low tonight of -14f (-25.5c) and light snow falling.  We have fires in the wood stove and fireplace and will hunker down except for a trip out to pick up son-in-law by one or two of us when his plane arrives.

Tomorrow is supposed to be somewhat warmer and I expect a great deal of snowplay will occur, lots of dryer time as we dry out layers for more play.  Saturday, we are expecting another 5″ of snow and ice before a thaw begins on Sunday.  We will enjoy it while it lasts and hope that spring is on its way.

Snow play

Today we have a dusting of snow and frozen drizzle from over night. Enough to make the roads slick and close schools again, but not enough for real snow play. Granddaughter’s only other snow was when she was months old and being worn in a carrier by her Mom. After breakfast and chicken chores, we bundled her up and I took her out on the deck for some snow play.


The only place we could accumulate enough snow to “play” in was on the back deck. The snow was too dry to pack into snowballs but it stuck to her mittens like it was velcroed, but she had a blast and was so excited.


Such fun for this little Florida born cutie.



This is the scene this morning. The ridge a mile away is hidden by the snowfall. The snow is not heavy, just steady and expected until sundown, so we may see our first seasonal snowfall. It is later than usual, but we are approaching the 8 weeks when we are most likely to get snow cover.  We are in the Allegheny mountains in southwest Virginia at an elevation of only about 2300 ft (700+ m) on the south flank of the ridge. The ridge north of us rises to about 4400 ft (1341 m) so that it shelters us from most heavy storms. The snow is welcome for the garden moisture it provides, the seasonal beauty and to indulge my inner child who will bundle up and walk or play in it after morning chores are done.

The dogs hit the deck this morning and delightedly took off, leaping; well the German Shepherd leaps, the English Mastiff lopes, and chasing each other around and rooting around like hogs with their noses in the snow. Often when it snows, one of them will come up with a mole or vole with which they play, tossing it around until they tire of the game.

The chickens were less delighted. I filled their water pan with tepid water and hung their feeder beneath the coop to keep it dry and opened the pop door for morning greetings. The first one to poke her head out stopped short as soon as her foot hit the snowy ramp, gave me an accusatory glare and ducked back inside.  All of them were milling around in the coop making agitated sounds, but no one came out. It isn’t very cold yet, only 32°f (0°c), the cold is expected again tonight dropping to low single digits and remaining well below freezing for the next week or so. I may have to make a concession and at least put their food inside the coop. We have snow predicted again in a few days.

The woods are looking like a wonderland and with the snow cover, you can see well into the woods and see the foraging deer and turkeys. I love the mountains and the snow. Life is good on our mountain farm.


The day is mild, almost springlike. The thermometer has risen to 53f (11.66C) though we still have gusty wind.  The forecast is for our first real snow, not a huge one, but 3 to 6 inches, I’ll settle for that.  The transportation departments are out in force, spraying their salt mixture on all of the roadways in anticipation.  We live on a 2/10 mile gravel driveway, downhill from a 2/10 mile state maintained gravel road, downhill from a real paved road.  With only 6 inches, no drifting and the 4 wheel drive feature of the vehicle engaged, we can get out if necessary.  The only time we couldn’t get out, we had 20 inches two weeks after we had 22 inches that had not all melted and the second snow drifted.  We were stuck for 3 days until our contractor/farmer neighbor came down our driveway on his huge tractor with a blade and plowed us out, then waited to make sure that hubby’s vehicle could get to the top of the driveway.  For about 2 weeks, that is where the car stayed and all supplies that we had to bring in here hauled down to the house on plastic toboggans, sometimes with us racing each other down the driveway in two of the them.  That was 4 years ago, the year of the last Winter Olympics and we posted many photos of our Cave Hill Olympics, our antics in the snow.  We may both be senior citizens, but we still like to play in the snow.




As the transportation folks are preparing, so are we.  Knowing that snow and wind often mean power outages, some for only a few hours, some for days on end and when we don’t have power, we also don’t have water, I have preemptively filled the downstairs tub, the water jugs and will shortly go bring in a couple days worth of wood into the garage for the wood stove and fireplace.  We went to town and resupplied some of the staples that were low from the natural food store.  I added another 8 or 9 inches of dry straw to the chicken coop and put a fresh layer under the coop and where I enter their pen.

With this potential snow, we are facing single digit temperatures at night for the second time this winter.  We will have to leave the hot and cold water faucet in the utility room dripping, pull out the space heater and hope the pipes don’t freeze in there again.  I also need to figure out how to keep the washing machine drain from freezing, though I can always drain it into the utility sink if the water is running.

With any luck, we will have a layer of white to enjoy for a day or two.  The dogs will love to romp in it, the chickens will be less thrilled, but I am still kid enough at heart to be anticipating some snow and a long walk in the cold white world.