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This is a letter to Carol Boeddeker-Genet from her son, Ron, in Alaska. She thought is would be appropriate to share with Herald readers this week. Mom: If it happens to interest any of my old neighbors back in Missouri, the fresh wave of snow and ice that I see heading their way is not that hard to cope with if one prepares a little. Here in Alaska everyone that has reason to be on the road is prepared adequately as a rule. Studded snow tires really do make a huge difference here and most folks use them on a front-wheel drive car, which is better at getting around than your average 4 wheel drive. The use of an SUV is very common here of course (with studded snow tires too), yet so many make use of front-wheel drive sedans of whatever make. All-wheel drive Subaru cars are popular too. Of course what never fails during winter here is the snow machine, as long as it operates in temps as extreme as -40 degrees and there is an adequate layer of snow. Most snow machines do just fine, although dressing warm enough to actually sit and ride one at those temps really tests one’s sanity.
The latest cold spell here didn’t stay for long, about -35 to -40 for about 4 days last week, they come and go. Then it warmed up to -10, perfect for an afternoon hike this last Sunday for dad and daughter. It tends to warm up a little for it to snow any significant amount and it has, as last night and right now we are looking at a good six inches of accumulation and more still falling with the temperature at 10 above.
My school buses run regardless of how much snow we get and are running on that six inches right now since the State snow plows do not get out until after my buses start their runs. All of my drivers are pretty well able to handle these conditions and none of my buses have been in the ditch (knock on wood) this year. The only thing that keeps us from running is a warm spell that makes the normally snow-packed roads wet and then some rain to accompany the slick surfaces, or we don’t run at -50 degrees or below, as too many things fail to operate properly at those temps, especially diesel engine buses such as mine. The engines will run, but won’t build enough heat to keep the interior of the bus warm enough for passenger comfort, not to mention that a mechanical failure could strand the bus for longer than one likes while a standby bus is being brought to the rescue. I felt that passing this information along might be a good way to lighten up the outlook of some of those folks I know back in Missouri (like my mom) who feel that they have it rough with a week or so of snow or ice like I remember so often in the Ozarks myself.
This is a letter to Carol Boeddeker-Genet from her son, Ron, in Alaska. She thought is would be appropriate to share with Herald readers this week. We’ve had snow here since October (later than normal actually) and will have it until the end of April or sometime in May; then it will warm up to perhaps 50, even 60′s at times. Summer temps are usually a high of 70 something, but morning starts are often about 50 yet can be 30 something as well. Air conditioning sure doesn’t see a whole lot of use around here, don’t ya know.
I felt you all could appreciate your situation more if you just knew how others have it elsewhere, ever watch Ice Road Truckers? I live it daily.
Lots of love from Glennallen, AK Ron Boeddeker