The Snow Screams
Salt, sun and plows conspire to keep the highways, mostly, clean. It’s only when you turn off of the main roads on to the less maintained surfaces that you hear the scream.
You see, at 4 degrees below zero Fahrenheit there is no crunch beneath the wheels of your vehicle. Snow may crunch beneath the weight of your boots but under the weight of your wheels the snow screams. The scream is a high pitched screech that speaks volumes to the conditions that await you just outside the warmth and comfort you have behind the wheel.
As you increase speed towards your destination the whistle of the wind creates a duet with the wailing snow. You are the first encumberment the wind encounters as it crosses the wide expanse of river. Unwilling to stop in its steady march east it buffets you and creeps into cracks along the frozen and stiff weather strips by the doors.
As you come to a halt the scream of the snow ends leaving only the whistle of the wind to continue the chorus. Stepping out you feel the first slice of the cold knife that is the wind against your unprotected face. Closer to the edge of the river it is joined by the intermittent sting of blowing snow.
Out of the car and towards the rivers edge a camera position is quickly determined. If you are smart the exposure has been calculated well before leaving the warmth of the car and the exposure is quickly counted off. I guess quickly is a relative term; 7 seconds in July seems to pass a lot quicker that those same 7 seconds in January. A couple of set ups later it’s back to the car.
Back in the car, which was left running with the heater on, you find bright red cheeks in the rear view mirror. A few minutes down the road the cheeks go from numb to tingling to warm then hot. Not frost bitten but a bit wind burned and able to form a stiff smile at beating old man winter once again.