I spent a few hours yesterday brooming my driveway, a 1/2 mile of twisty asphalt road in the rain, and I enjoyed it. There 's nothing quite like taking a walk through a redwood, oak and madrone forest while sweeping the detritus dropped by the last wind storm. With temperature around 45F (that's 7C for the otherkin), the light rain wasn't a bother. I wore a sweatshirt and work pants which was plenty given my level of effort. It is important to reduce the road detritus as in a strong downpour the stuff just ends up washing into and clogging the storm drains.
This morning I headed down to Scotts Valley to pick up a few hardware supplies (sandpaper for my electric sander); I brought along my chainsaw (a Stihl 026 Pro with a 20" bar) to get the chain sharpened. Given these wind storms, I am expecting a tree to drop and it is no fun cutting branches with a dull chain. Just a 1/4 mile down Glenwood Drive I ran into a road-closed sign, which I drove around. Shortly after the sign I stopped in front of a massive tree drop with downed and entangled telephone and power lines. Oh well, I turned around to head north to the cut-off then onto highway 17. Not that far from Scotts Valley, traffic came to a crawl by a huge redwood that was blocking the rightmost lane. As I passed it I could see it was also blocking the road next to the highway and half a block of neighborhood. That thing must have been 300 feet tall!
The Ace hardware store was open but their power was intermittent. Activities completed, I headed back home and could see inbound traffic backed halfway up the summit on the other side. It was then I realized the entire area north of Scotts Valeey was without power. My neighbor said they have been without power since 9AM. It's now going on 15 hours, and the county thinks power will not be back for at least three days - except at House Skyote. since it generates its own power from the sun. Selene and I did not notice the general outage.because the mountain wireless internet was running just fine; we've been streaming celtic melt with no dropouts all day.
Meanwhile Selene has been busy making the holiday gifts; she's baking up a storm of goodies.
Today I broomed my driveway again and I joined my neighbor to do the rest of the shared road. This time it was one mile worth of sweeping with some added major branch removal. This evening a massive windstorm hit again and some massive branches are dropping. I'll probably end up with the neighbors tomorrow clearing the main roads of fallen trees. We do that for each other - its the mountain dweller way.
Staying warm, with light and internet access...
Edit - A massive wind sotmr contniued through the night with winds gusting over 70MPH in the mountains. Over 15,000 people are without power in the mountains, about 105,000 in the bay area: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2006/December/28/local/stories/01local.htm
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