The Year So Far

 December and (January so) have been the coldest in White Pine County that I can remember. We had nightly wind chill and frost bit warnings (meaning the temperature is in the -30's to -40's) for weeks on end and the daily high struggled to get past the single digits. This past week mother nature has given us a reprieve with the temperatures in the day getting up to near 40 degrees. Honestly, it feels like shorts weather almost. With the warming temperatures all the water lines down at the railroad that froze are now thawing out. One of the interns staying in the bunk house that we remodeled last year left for the holidays and turned the heat off (to avoid fire). A 2" water line in the engine house machine shop froze and subsequently produced a geyser of water which resulted in an indoor ice skating rink. A 6" water main feeding the new water column we installed this past spring also froze breaking a near $1000 gate valve. Not a great month for frozen pipes. Prior to the thaw I was out west of Austin, Nevada watching well drillers trying to sink a new water well for the city of Austin in -20 degree temperatures in the middle of week long snow storm. It wasn't the most efficient endeavor, but they finally got it. I just sat in my car and watched the storms roll in and out of the Reese River Valley.

I mostly read, napped, counted the sticks of pipe and the occasional bag of gravel (and watched water freeze, which was happening pretty quick). I was staying at the company house in Eureka which is about 65 miles East of the job site. My travels to and from work that week usually involved me slogging my way through a white-out while ignoring the "Chains or Snow Tires Required" signs.

 I'm generally not a big proponent of "New Years Resolutions", but I usually make a list of things I want to do or try during the year. One thing I definitely wanted to do this years was to make better use of the opportunity of traveling across Nevada. I'm always passing through small towns or ghost towns and other interesting things and as long as I'm in the neighborhood I should take the time to stop and look. So on this last trip I did a couple of things. First, one day when the drillers knocked off early I drove out to a hot spring near Austin and soaked for awhile. The spring didn't look like this picture when I was there. It was near zero and everything was dead and or covered with snow. The springs is on top of this small rise in the Big Smokey Valley off US 50 and the view is nice

Next, after work one evening I went over to the Eureka Sentinel Museum. I'd been meaning to stop there for awhile, but never seemed to have the time. I recommend it if you're ever in the area. Finally, the town of Eureka also has an indoor swimming pool and I got up early one morning while I was there and went and swam laps. I hadn't planned very well for that one. When I finished swimming I hopped out of the pool and dried off as best I could and ran out the door in my still damp swim trunks only to get blasted by the -15 degree morning breeze. I had a hard time warming up that day.

Also on the list for this year is:

  • Take a trip on Amtrak
  • Give a ride to a hitchhiker
  • Go to a major car auction
  • Drive up CA Route 1
  • And whatever else I come up with


One Last Christmas Hurrah!

The holiday season for the Robertson family officially runs from the Monday before Thanksgiving to the 6th of January. We define "Holiday Season" almost exclusively by the amount of food we eat. So the wagon officially drops us all off for about 8 weeks. After Seth's birthday the wagon comes back by and we all slowly roll onto it fatter, exhausted, and vowing never to look at another holiday meal again.

That being said it was a fun holiday filled with family, food, disease, pictures, presents, snow, frostbite warnings, yelling, laughing, travel, screaming, crying, napping, etc, etc, etc...

As one last grand send-off allow me to share my favorite clip from the holiday episode of one of my favorite shows, "Bob's Burgers".