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It’s hard to imagine a more depressing weather forecast than “scattered drizzle” but that’s the hand we’ve been dealt these last few days. About the only thing this weather is good for is sitting in front of the wood stove and soaking up the heat. This period where we have said goodbye to the glorious days of autumn and eagerly await the sparkling whiteness of full-on winter is probably my least favorite weather. A possible exception is the muddy period in March when winter’s old snow clings in dirty piles to the margins of the driveway, leaking just enough meltwater each day to keep things messy and wet.

I talked with Ken Dull at the Forest Service yesterday about resuming my winter job at Echo Ridge, the local cross-country ski area. This little plum of a job won’t put me on Obama’s hit list of wealthy Americans but it does mesh nicely with my lifestyle. Chief among my duties is plowing the road up to the ski area and monitoring the parking area to enforce the $10/day ski fee. On snowless days at least, this roster leaves me a generous amount of time to “inspect” the ski trails, a task that can only be performed on skis. Get it? I basically get paid to ski all day. Of course, in order for me to start skiing this scattered drizzle needs to end and some serious snowfall needs to begin.

We’ve pretty much decided that we’re going to bail in mid-January and go south. I got to thinking about towing our fifth wheel out of our 1/3-mile-long driveway and down the steep six miles to town. I’m not too keen on having a 28-ft trailer pushing against the back of our 3/4-ton pickup truck on a steep, icy road so we took the fifth wheel down to a storage facility in Entiat last week; just in time as it turned out because we got four inches of snow two days later. No doubt our promised departure comes as good news to Chelan Traveler readers who expect to be entertained with exciting reports from the road and not drivel about the weather and ducks’ asses, eh?

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