Got them Suburban Snowsick Blues

It was a mother of a Mothers Day at Chez Dog.

It was a mother of a Mothers Day at Chez Dog.

The weather has been, shall we say, unsettled.

One minute a fella’s cycling around and about wearing little more than a bit of team kit marinated in sunscreen, and the next he’s huddled over a furnace grate in a snowmobile suit, Ruger Mini Thirty locked and loaded, ready to repel a terrorist yeti raid on his bacon and beans.

I made my preparations on Saturday, whipping up two steaming tureens of Southwestern fare, the first of a pork-and-potato-laden green chile stew and the second of pinto beans with onion, garlic and chipotle chile. To say the atmosphere has grown heavy indoors since would be an understatement of epic proportions.

The weather wizards were shrieking about inches and feet of white stuff, but this latest resurrection of winter proved to be not so much of a much. What little we got was heavy and wet, to be sure, and at one point I had to venture out with a broom to flog it off the tender branches of the young Canadian red cherry in the back yard.

This morning we have gray skies, temps below freezing, a stiff wind, and flurries, which is to say it’s May in Colorado. It caused me to compose a protest song in the style of Mr. Robert Zimmerman, though it’s tough to be musical without guitar, harmonica or talent. Still, I had a whang at it in an email to a friend and colleague in the mountains.

How much snow have you got there?
They said we’d get it everywhere
But mostly, down here below
the worst was that the wind did blow

It sucked, actually
Real cold
Movin’ t’Arizony

(squee honk blaat hoot snort honk twee)


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39 Responses to “Got them Suburban Snowsick Blues”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Left Durango Sunday morning in a nice, wet thunderstorm. But sure enough, we crossed the border to the Land of Entrapment to a continuation of “dry as a popcorn fart” high winds and dust in the air. Amazing the whole damn state didn’t blow away. I’m really getting sick of this shit.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Oho, Four Cornering, were we? Nice. I’m in dire need of a road trip and unlikely to get one anytime soon.

      Yeah, the moisture is welcome, and only a fool would complain about it in the high desert, but I’m more in the mood for rain these days. A nice, warm rain. If we get any, I’ll FedEx it to you.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Yeah, it was time for the annual “Get the Hell out of Dodge” visit to points north where the terrane has some green in it. Got in a nice little ride on the tandem as well, doing a loop up the Animus River. Meena was fading towards the end, which involved pounding into a headwind, so I reverted to hammerfest form.

        Nothing all that rigorous, of course. I’ve pretty much retired from riding as though I give a shit about being a Serious ™ Kitted Out Cyclist. Once in a while the urge hits me to get Serious(tm) but that’s getting rare. Not sure why. Maybe next year…..

  2. Debby no longer in Longtucky Says:

    I am so sick of snow! At least it doesn’t seem to be sticking to the pavement at present.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Herself skipped the Monday drive to Mile High today after checking and The Denver Post‘s commuter blog. Looked double-ugly from Monument north. Thank God Al Gore invented the Innertubes and made telecommuting possible.

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Khal, I hear you brother! This wind bullshit is getting real old. Red flag up all day yesterday. And our favorite mountain biking town, Williams, AZ, is on emergency water restrictions until the monsoon.

    We are putting off camping until later this week. Forty degree lows and 30 mph winds are not my idea of a relaxing camp. I want to sit in the shade wearing shorts and a T shirt reading a book and drinking beer. Bundling up in all the clothes you brought to go out and make the morning coffee is NOT camping in May in Aridzona.

    Patrick, I know the water is good, but, being the winter wimp that I am, I don’t think I could deal with snow in May. Well, I better get used to it because it is probably our new “normal” climate.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hey, Pat … so the mountain biking is good around Williams, is it? My dad bought a few cow-burned acres outside Ash Fork back in the Sixties — based on an ad in TV Guide, if memory serves — but never bothered to check to see whether water could be had there.

      It can’t, mostly. Apparently you can drill to Beijing and never find the stuff, from right around Williams to Kingman. The folks who rough it around Ash Fork mostly have their water trucked in.

      I visited there a couple of times en route to Interbike and was reminded of Tom McGuane’s “Something To Be Desired”:

      “No wonder nobody lives here, no wonder they stay back in town. There’s no reason to be here. You come here to get something and then out you go.”

      Only land I’ve ever heard of that declined in value, due in part to the paucity of agua fria and an infestation of End Times knuckleheads who favor apocalyptic settings and fantasies. We finally sold it off for about a buck-fitty.

      Speaking of camping, a neighbor just returned from a sojourn in Utah. Said the winds were of the 60-mph variety and actually broke one of his tent poles. So it’s not just us.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        We haven’t ridden up there in 3 years, but are planning to do it again sometime. Hundreds of miles of forest service road and single track too. We used to stay at the KOA on I-40 right outside of town. You can ride over the interstate from the the campground and hook up with FS roads. We used to ride to Dogtown Lake from the campground, take a break and refill the bottles, and then ride back and jhit a little single track on the way back. You are right about the water. That KOA has to truck their water in.

      • Steve O Says:

        If you’re the type to believe in them pointy-headed scientists and their overblown, highfalutin, endofthe world predictions about global warming…

        One of the major affects is increased fluctuation in the jetstream, meaning bringing cold air down more frequently and hot air up more frequently (up-and-down meaning north and south, of course) which in turn means temperature differentials which will increase wind everywhere

        One of these days I’ll snap a picture of it, but more often than not, my neighbor across the street will have his flag blowing straight out to the north, and his next-door neighbors flag is blowing straight out to the south.

        One thing I know about wind, and it applies to snow and rain and everything else, is that Mother Nature never bothers to read the weather forecast. Or, if She does, she got her reading and writing education at a US public school.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Kinda reminds me of that old joke in these parts: Why is is so windy in New Mexico? Because Texas sucks and Arizona blows…

        Steve, I read that too about the decrease in temperature (I think) gradient causing the jet stream to wobble more, thus bringing extremes of weather and slower movement of storms. Its annoying being one of those pointy headed scientists (albeit, thankfully, climate is not my specialty) and not being able to say with absolute certainty that such-is-so. If we were that sure, it wouldn’t be science.

        The moron factor will get us. Its too easy to want to keep driving the gas sucking SUV, eating high on the food chain, and living in the nice house. Meanwhile, push out the consequences or willfully deny the the best estimates. We will be the first species with the self-awareness to root on our own demise.

  4. khal spencer Says:

    Friend of ours lived in Williams when she managed an auto parts store. I think she has since fled. It does seem we are getting more of an influx of right wing knuckleheads in the southwest.

  5. Larry T. Says:

    We had some wind on Sunday over on this side of the pond, I added a link to a video showing the blowing on my La Campionissima blog post. Anyone who cares can check it out here
    I was blowing on this climb too, the wife found a steady wheel and dropped my sorry a__ most of the day….I gotta a lot of work ahead of me if I’m going to make it even part way up Monte Zoncolan at month’s end!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Ho, ho, Larry got “chicked!” Don’t feel bad — I wish I had a buck for every time I got shelled by a woman, or a fat kid on a trike, or an old dude with a walker.

      Gonna catch any of the Giro live and in person now that it’s in its natural habitat?

      • Larry T. Says:

        I’m used to it, married to a woman who once stood on a race awards podium between Rebecca Twigg and Connie Paraskevin means I get my a__ handed to me regularly.
        Might pop over to see some of the Barbaresco-Barolo stage, but it’s a chrono, so not-so-sure, but then there’s the Oropa stage in the backyard of our friends at Vittoria Shoes plus the Zoncolan stage for sure, even if I’m in no shape to climb the damn thing!

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I recall getting chicked by Dede Demet once on Wolf Creek Pass during the Pagosa Springs Stage Race. She led a group past me on the steepest pitch and still had the wind to cheer me on.

        And of course all the dudes fought for the chance to draft Mari Holden on the local road rides. Which was insane, ’cause she was fast as hell and about the size of a baby robin.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        We met Mari Holden when we worked the Vuelta de Bisbee for the first time on neutral support. She made a point of coming over and thanking us even though we didn’t change a wheel for her. We kept up with her and the peloton on the descent out of Bisbee on Mule Mountain. We were in the pickup. Paced the main group at 52 mph halfway down. The year before we were spectators, rode our bikes down and were sitting on the side of Moson Road, for the first road stage, and she yelled, “you’re not fat!” as she passed and threw me an empty water bottle. Guess what jersey I was wearing?

      • mountainhigh10200 Says:

        I used to own the bike shop in Leadville and guys would regularly come out to pre-ride and train. Customer is in the shop debating which tires have the lowest rolling resistance and talking about the St. Kevin’s climb. He tells me how he got passed by two women moving at what he described as an unbelievable pace. As he finishes the story I realize the women are also both customers, locals.
        I really wanted to tell him that one of the women was six months pregnant but he hadn’t made a tire purchase yet, so I refrained. Now I sorta wished I had clued him in.

  6. Steve O Says:

    Perfect imitation of his mouth organ playing.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Dude’s like a thousand and five and still hasn’t learned how to play that damn’ thing.

      • mountainhigh10200 Says:

        He got arrested in NJ for trespassing, he was looking at a house that was for sale and was on the lawn or some silly shit. The female officer who arrested him was 23 years old. Apparently he kept telling her he was Bob Dylan and her response was something like “yeah sure”.

    • Steve O Says:

      The “(squee honk blaat hoot snort honk twee),” in case you were wondering what that was a response to.

      • Steve O Says:

        Dylan, by the way… Worst show I have ever seen.

        Spent some time on Al Gore’s inter-tubes looking for reviews of shows he did the week before and week after, to see if we just caught him on a bad day. Uhn-uh. Seems he’s been in his own world on the stage for quite some time.

        The weird thing is, the first 10 minutes, I thought we were in for something special. He was playing a tune that I totally didn’t recognize, and I could only understand one line out of about 20, but the lyrics sounded vaguely familiar. When you got to the chorus, it clicked: tangled up in blue. So I’m thinking, this will be cool, he’s doing read mix mash up reformulated versions of all of his songs. But 10 minutes later, the melody still had not changed, and he singing a different chorus. Five minutes later, still the exact same musical accompaniment, and yet another chorus. In a nutshell, he played the same eight bars for two hours, just changing the words as he went from song to song. That’s either genius or bullshit, and maybe the two aren’t all that different.

      • Steve O Says:

        Here’s the weird thing… I saw Dylan and Leonard Cohen about four days apart, at the exact same venue. Talk about polar opposites. Dylan phoned in, burned minimal calories on the stage. Cohen made every single person in the audience feel like we were his best friends. I think Cohen is actually the older of the two, but you never would’ve guessed that watching them side-by-side

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Yeah, I think Roberto shot his bolt early on. “Tambourine Man,” “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,” “Maggie’s Farm,” “It’s a Hard Rain,” “Blowin’ In the Wind,” “It Ain’t Me Babe,” “All Along the Watchtower” — those are among the ones I remember fondly. And I couldn’t listen to too many in a row. Had to throw in a few cover bands, like The Byrds or Jimi to keep the string going.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Ol’ Leonard was working his Zen Jedi mind tricks on you, boy.

      • Steve O Says:

        I was going to make a comparison about old Lucky Wilbury being born again whilst LC was the Buddhist priest, but decided to let it go.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        What the world needs now is a Tom Waits-Leonard Cohen double-bill show. No admission without stingy-brim lid, sorry.

        We might have to get Chuck E. Weiss to open for ’em.

  7. veloben Says:

    85 today and yesterday. Big dump of warm rain yesterday too. The heats a bit much for the chocolate lab. He just wants to sit or swim in Lake Michigan. Did I mention we have more fresh water a short walk away than anyone else in the country? Really we just let our dogs swim it, we don’t know what to do with it all.

    Tho’ I gotta admit it’s boringly flat here and the mountain biking s**ks.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Careful, we’ll snake a pipe out that way and leave you high and dry.

      Mister Boo loves this frosty weather. He does what we call “The Trail of Tears” on a warm-weather walk, but when the snow flies he gallivants like a puppy.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Hey Veloben, grew up in Waukegan in the 50’s and 60’s. Fond memories of fishing, boating, and swimming on Lake Michigan. Riding there last visit, 10 years ago, on a borrowed bikes, we went from Waukegan to Kenosha on the old North Shore railroad trail before my brother made us turn around. We could have gone to MIlwaukee for lunch easily. Riding at 430 feet above sea level was much easier than at 4600 feet or higher. I guess altitude training does help performance.

      Duffy is not a fan of the heat even with his summer hairdo.

      • veloben Says:


        I ride out of Evanston and know the trail well. Chaired the North Shore Century (Evanston to Kenosha and back) got a decade or two. The road tidings not too bad, flat but most of the drivers are civilized.

        This miserable winter has really made me match POG’s tag line. Need some warm and dry to catch up on the miles.

  8. Steve O Says:

    It snowed here for a solid 24 hours. We got about 3 inches stuck two mailboxes and fenceposts, but most of it melted as soon as it touched the ground. I think I have 82 weather apps on my phone, and everyone is worried about giving me a 75 day forecast, can’t find anybody that can tell me what happened over the last 24 hours

  9. karen Says:

    Hahaha— Thanks for the good laughing I got in after a sunny ridearound the neighborhood enjoying iris, rhododendrums, clematis blooms, and then reading this post. I enjoy your wordmastery!

  10. John Dallager Says:

    10 inches and still lightly snowing here in Black Forest, CO (north of Bibleburg)…..but it’s a wet snow and only 20K winds! Should be 60 by Thursday.

    Speakin’ of great sounds and energy…….Check out June 21st just north of Dallas, TX: Jimmy Buffett and John Fogerty together!!

  11. john Says:

    The other day I saw an old car sprawled across two handicapped spaces, that had a bumper sticker:

    “I’m old but I got to see all the cool bands!”

    Definitely could identify with that, having seen the Doors from the front row and Jimi Hendrix on his first tour.

  12. hurben Says:

    Hey, two weeks ago I got to see Kris Kristofferson in Auckland & it was a magic evening.

    Only other legends of my youth that matched the myth were James Taylor & Rodriguez.

    Growing up in South Africa, I didn’t get to see the cool musicians but I’m making up for it now.

  13. hurben Says:

    Dusty Neuron glowing time.

    Early 80’s in my flat in Yeoville, Johannesbug, some girl that came with a friend goes through my record collection & comments why I have so much Neil Young but no Bob Dylan.

    My response that Bob had nothing left to say & was past it set off the pyrotechnics for the evening.

    Great days…

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