I write this on April 11, 2010. Five months ago it started snowing.
Most Monticello folks still have drifts on the north side of their homes. Drifts on either side of the Joel Palmer’s front door are down from 10 feet high a month ago to six feet today. By the fourth of July, the Palmer’s may see green again.
Five days of sunshine after that awful wind on Monday and Tuesday (April 5-6) has liberated our little hamlet from the most persistent blanket of snow since 1947. Today, the nine-foot drift between my garage and house has been reduced to a puddle the size of a dinner plate.
Spring is here. We can all stop complaining and get on with what should be a fantastic array of wild flowers, hip high grass on the range, 50 bushels-to-the-acre wheat and virtually every reservoir in San Juan County filled to the brim.
With 178 percent of normal moisture in the snow on Blue Mountain at press time last week, we could probably fill Loyd’s and Recapture lakes two or three times this spring. It is years like this that we wish those dams were a hundred feet higher.
On Sunday the 4th, Shingle Mill Draw and South Creek were barely flowing. On Sunday (the 11th) there was 16 times as much brown and frothy water roaring through the measuring structure at South Creek. Just wait another month!
I chuckled at Stan Hurst’s comment in the paper after a couple of storms in November. Said he, “We spend most of our lives in this county praying for moisture and then when it comes in a big way, the whining begins.” That is not a direct quote, but you get the idea.
I am as tired of shoveling snow as anyone, but every time I look at Blue Mountain with those billions of gallons ready to come swooshing down, the inconvenience is well worth the result. “Swooshing” is better than Disneyland for me.
I took a little ride this afternoon. Some general observations: Miles of fences leaning or down. Lamp-posts, brick flower beds and other things close to curbs chewed up during snow removal. Some homeowners are now cursing the well-intentioned snow plow drivers instead of the snow. Most of the roofs that caved in around town have been replaced or torn down.
Pot holes in city roads nearly swallow whole vehicles in some places. Cheers for the brave city crews who are filling them as fast as they can.
The gravestone of my parents peaked through the drifts this week. They have been completely buried since late November. It was good to see them “resurrected” so to speak.
Seems to me like we have had an unusually large number of folks take up residence at the Monticello Cemetery this winter. Probably because so many of them were dear friends.
The greenest grass in town is in front of the Muhlestein Greenhouses. It seems only right that Mother Nature should bestow the “greenest grass” honor on them. All their buildings are chuck full of flowers and vegetables, which will make San Juan even more beautiful this summer.
Business was brisk at the skate park in Veteran’s Memorial Park Friday. Warm weather and early release from school resulted in standing room-only. I am glad my dad made me work after school when I was that age. Busted heads and doctor bills seem like a waste. I was 40 years old when skate boards were invented.
Things are going well at the new swimming and fitness complex in Monticello. Unlike the out-of-county sissy construction company working on the new fitness center in Blanding who turned tail and left when the snow started, Tri-Hurst Construction of Blanding plugged away all winter in Monticello. What is a measly 10 feet of snow to descendants of San Juan pioneers? Another round of cheers for Tri Hurst!
So another season of our lives is in the books. Keep a journal this spring. Keep your camera handy. Take forays into the deserts and the mountains when the flowers are in bloom. You won’t be sorry. If history is repeated, it may be another 63 years before Mother Nature makes such an effort to impress.
The coming attractions will be like nothing many of you have seen. Magnificent San Juan will become a kaleidoscope of color and lushness. Plan day trips into our version of the Garden of Eden. How blessed we are to live here.