With up to 30 inches of snow forecast over a single 24-hour dump for the Mid-Atlantic blizzard of 2016, I was very concerned about Tent Model XXX. We were hunkered down at our house, fully stocked with heating oil, propane, seasoned firewood and a terrific wood stove, a fully charged inverter battery bank, and two back-up generators, to say nothing of the rum, Jagermeister, wine, beer, pizza, canned goods, dried beans, and other survival gear any sensible person would have around during a blizzard. Overnight, 14″ of snow fell. At roughly 15 pounds per cubic foot, the tent has sufficient area on top to catch 7 tons of snow for every foot of white stuff that falls. That number–7 tons–and the “thundersnow” show at 3am got me up early and kept me up. I decided to gear up at sunrise and make the run out to the boatyard, assuming all the way that the tent would be collapsed upon my arrival.
Nobody was inside. I assume the driver lost control overnight and walked out.
My old Ford F150 beater would have gone through to the end, but in the parking lot the snow was deep enough to stop the missus’ little SUV. I walked the rest of the way, expecting to see a big mess…
I thought about staying and getting some stuff done, but the forecast was for 3″ falling per hour until the afternoon. So I decided to get back to the house before things got uglier. The lull in the snow ended as I headed back home. Wind was really picking up, with gusts to 50mph. It’s an interesting sensation, hitting an open stretch of ice-covered road just as a 50mph crosswind hits. The snow plow-thrown berms of snow on the side of the road come up pretty quick as you slide sideways. But I’ve always enjoyed drives in the snow, and flinging the car around is like riding a bike–if you got the reflexes when you were young, it all comes back in a while.
The next day, I made another trip to make sure Tent Model XXX made it through the wind storm part of Blizzard 2016. An additional 7″ of snow fell overnight, and the wind was so strong it was coming down sideways. But in the morning, the sky was perfectly clear and there was almost no wind. The roads were clear almost the whole way, and most people obeyed the authorities and stayed home. It was a great drive.
There was more accumulated snow on top of Tent Model XXX from the last blast of snow that fell on Day 2 than in the much bigger dump from the night before. But it was all sliding off anyway.
It’s a testament to battens at all seams, joints, and around the bottom that the tent is still drum tight. I wish I’d figured out how to make a right proper tent back when I started this project…would have saved a lot of heartache and trouble. Ah well…lesson learned.
The aftercoolers I took apart in the last article are sitting in a bucket of water-based degreaser that froze up a bit, so I’ll get them cleaned up and reassembled when it thaws.