The Beginning of the New Appalachian Donner Party

It’s happened! We’ve been stranded! Winter storm Jonas has dropped over 17 inches on our property, limiting our travel to what we can cover in big, snow-sinking footsteps. Suddenly the world has shrunk to our house and its very immediate surroundings. Ian and I are in a desperate situation. The last of our rations were eaten days ago and It’s only a matter of time before this hunger drives us so crazy that we begin to chew each other’s limbs off in an effort to get some desperately needed calories.

Welllll, not quite. One nice thing about this modern age is are 24 hour weather reports, meaning that Ian and I knew about this storm well in advance and prepared ourselves accordingly. An overly cautious string of snow days at the schools this week gave us plenty of time to prepare, and by Thursday night our pantries were full, the firewood was stacked on our porch, and the animals were all accounted for. When Friday morning woke us up with a home covered in a thick carpet of white powder, we were able to enjoy it.

The first snow of the year came over a week ago and in a 10 minute burst of blizzard-like conditions. It melted soon after.
Thursday morning saw us with a light dusting, enough for school to be canceled.
Friday was when the storm really picked up, leaving us with continuous snow falling all day.
We moved our mattress next to the wood stove and have been living almost exclusively in the living room and kitchen. The rest of the house is just too difficult to heat this time of year!
Waking up to being snowed in is made much more pleasant with a full french press of coffee.
Pepper hunkered down, running through the trenches our feet made and camping out in the relative safety of the underbelly of our car.
The chickens were entirely upset about the weather situation and made their disdain known through loud shrieks from the doorway of their coop.
Wendell seems more enthusiastic about the snow, though entirely confused as to why it’s up to his belly.

Much of the past few days have been spent indoors on the couch, quietly reading or attempting to connect to our inferior wifi. The two of us were surprisingly ambitious yesterday and managed to get our long training runs done on the treadmill. (11 brutal miles worth for me, 9 for Ian.) Nevertheless, getting outside has been a necessity and we’ve gone on many walks around the property, blazing new trails through the thick snow wherever we go.

A walk in the woods.
Wendell is petty receptive to any training done by Ian.
Less so from me.

For now, we are entirely at the mercy of our impenetrable driveway. Until a four wheel drive truck passes through it or the snow melts enough for our Santa Fe to survive, we can’t drive out.

The driveway from our house down the mountain. I doubt our car can traverse it.

Right now we are on day three and counting of being snowed in. I’m sure we’ll begin to get bored and a little stir crazy soon, but for now the novelty of being stranded on a snow covered mountain hasn’t worn off. Up next: a post about the garden shed table Ian’s built these last two days. Trust me, it’s worth seeing. 🙂


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4 thoughts on “The Beginning of the New Appalachian Donner Party

  1. When I first saw Cynda Vance’s post and beautiful photos of the snow covered Ridge, I was yearning to be there. Now, your blog just reinforces that yearning. We leave on a cruise a week from today and will be enjoying the warm weather of the western Mexico coast. It’s a wee bit strange that I’d rather be snowbound on the Ridge than on this cruise.

    1. I understand your angle entirely, but the idea of being on a tropical cruise sounds pretty tempting to me right now! Enjoy it. 🙂

  2. What beautiful pictures! You make me long to be out walking in the snowy woods. Your house seems so cozy, with the mattress next to the wood stove. Did the chickens ever stop complaining?

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