Could this be the year of the big snow that we have been waiting for? Every year we hear predictions that “the big one” will be this year and for at least the last five years we haven’t had more than a foot or two on the ground throughout the winter. Back in the 80s it seems like a typical snow depth in January was two to three feet. We got a good start on Monday when about ten inches was added to the existing eight inches. But then yesterday the forecast called for another 8 to 13 inches and we barely got three.

Actually, we have enough to make the woods look Christmassy now and we have enough to open the ski area so I’m satisfied with it. And then there is the problem of keeping the 1/3-mile driveway clear. Any more snow from now on will not clear the existing snow berm and will be a lot harder to plow.

Mary and I have been taking the snowmobile over to Echo Ridge for x-country skiing which is great exercise. Last night we finished a circuit around the course and returned to the parked snowmobile good and tired – ready to let the machine do all the work and carry us the 3 miles home. But it wouldn’t start! I couldn’t get it to take the throttle. I suspect ice in the fuel line. It was about 18 degrees and getting dark when we resigned ourselves to skiing home and leaving the balky machine at the Ridge. We had been skiing on our skate skis which are a joy and fast on a groomed course but next to worthless in deep snow. Because they have no traction for climbing we were forced to pole up the rises which is really hard on the shoulder muscles. About an hour after we got home the soreness set in and we were both “stove up” for the evening.

Getting the snowmobile home this morning looked like it could be a real headache. I skied over to it this morning with a can of Heet and fingers crossed. It was balky again but I babied it and once I got it to rev up I hopped on and never took my thumb off the throttle until I got it home for fear it would stall again. Hopefully the Heet will have absorbed any moisture in the fuel tank and solve this problem.

Now if only I could find a good Christmas present for Mary, all would be well. I never have a clue what she would like. I was thinking maybe a new table saw or lithium drill. What do you think?

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