No, I didn’t get out and about much during the ice-age Arctic blast and subsequent snowstorm that has everybody talking still. I hibernated. And mourned burst water pipes.
But a lot of you did get out and about. And if I didn’t know better, I’d say you liked it.
For nine days, starting Dec. 31, the outdoors never saw 32 degrees. We’d never, ever had such a frigid week from start to finish, weatherpeople proclaimed. Not long after came a little dusting of snow — at least that’s what the weather pros predicted — and it dusted and dusted till we had five inches or more.
And a frozen wonderland bloomed before us here in the hometown like the flowers of April.
But instead of being grumpy, cold, miserable Southerners, many of you thought you were on vacation or something and frolicked like Canadians. No post-Christmas stupor for you.
Some hiked out to waterfalls. And they were not disappointed. For instance, Carter Falls on Big Elkin Creek north of town froze solid. So did Widow’s Creek Falls and Stone Mountain Falls in the state park.
I would not have believed it had you not posted so many photos on the internet.
Someone even tried ice climbing a frozen Linville Falls on the Burke/McDowell County line. “This may very well be a once in a lifetime opportunity,” gushed Spruce Pine photographer Halley Burleson on a website.
A partially frozen Looking Glass Falls north of Brevard caused a traffic jam on picturesque Highway 276, the big Asheville newspaper reported. Some fell through ice and into the Davidson River, the U.S. Forest Service said, but no one was hurt seriously.
The photo I wanted to see was one of a frozen, 300-foot Hickory Nut Falls near Chimney Rock. The state park there published a photo with no one in sight. There’s a park rule against climbing around those falls, even on a good day.
A cute story came out of Shallotte River Swamp Park in Ocean Isle Beach about alligators. They “instinctively know when the water is about to freeze,” an internet video said, and they stick their nose out and let the water freeze them in place till they thaw. Someone even petted one on the nose.
Iguanas fell out of trees in South Florida and littered the ground as overnight temperatures plunged to 38, the Palm Beach Post newspaper reported. The reptiles recovered when the sun came up, though, said the newspaper, which advised residents not to take the creatures inside to warm.
A Charlotte TV-news helicopter team shot video of a rescue of a cow who had broken through a frozen pond near Harrisburg (no relation) east of Charlotte. After using an ax and chainsaw to break up the ice, the people had to block the cow from going back to the pond.
A Pittsburgh TV station shot video close up of a man and son who went after a deer frozen in the Monongahela River in Pennsylvania. The man did not break through the ice while carrying out what looked like a bellowing doe to shore.
So I don’t want to hear any more bellyaching about the cold. Too many of you had too good of a time during it all. Why not go to Canada for the rest of winter? You’ll love it.
Stephen Harris returned home to live in State Road.