Thursday, December 10, 2009

Chillin’ in Fallon

I drove out here last Friday and the skies were clear and blue, I arrived stopping by the commissary picking up my normal Det fare of sandwich makings and top ramen. My squadron trains F/A-18 pilots on how to fly and Fallon is one of the check-off blocks in the student pilot syllabus, my job was to provide medical support to the people we have deployed out here and side job, work on what readiness issues I could.

When I got to my room, the first thing I did was call the bride to let her know I had made it alright then turned on the weather channel. I had heard that there was a cold front moving in and sometimes Fallon got an inch or two of snow, if you look at the pictures on Google Maps Street View, they took the pictures of the local area with an inch or 2 of snow on the ground. I wanted to be prepared, clothing wise, I was fine but had forgotten my gloves, can’t get everything right. The weather channel was saying a chance of snow, lows in the single digits and accumulation of 3-4 inches. Sunday rolled around and between noon and when I went to bed there was already 4 inches on the ground and the snow wasn’t letting up.

The next morning there was 6 inches on the ground and the roads were covered with packed snow. My car was also covered with a full thickness. The night before, the Weather Channel said the low was supposed to be 7 but the current reading said -5 and the snow was falling, hard. I needed to go to the clinic to meet up with one of my guys, and my car was buried in 6 inches of snow, cleaning it all off without gloves was not great fun at all and was probably one of the closer times I’ve ever come to frostbite. No kidding, it was cold, in my civilian gear, I would have been jolly warm but in my navy utilities, long johns and jacket, just wasn’t cutting it for any sort of outdoor fun. I made it to the clinic, frozen clothes stuck to my skin to meet up with a patient. Thawing out, I never thought heat felt so good, sorry about puddles I left everywhere.

The snow kept up throughout the day, we still had some folk stuck in Reno, by nightfall, the snow was 8 inches deep but was slowing down. The next morning, the car was covered with a new 3 inches of snow and ice due to driving my car around and heating it up. I praise the folk the invented deicing fluid. This time I went out in my civilian gear cleaned the car off then went back to my room to change over and off to work.

It’s Thursday now, over the past few days, temperatures have ranged from -15 to 11, that 11 degrees was almost a warm moment. According to the weather channel, every day the low was forecasted to be 7 or 8 but each morning, so far, all we’ve seen is the negative teens. The base fix it guys have had their hands full with broken pipes across the base and probably the people out in town too. Even though it hasn’t snowed in 2 days, the snow hasn’t melted a bit and most of the roads are still covered with packed snow.

I don’t have room to complain though, most of my work is done inside of an office. The guys that work on the flight line have been moving piles of snow from one place to another and making sure the jets are ready to go just in case the airfield opens. All of this great flight time we’re supposed to have is on hold for now with another storm coming in tomorrow with more snow in the forecast. It’s supposed to warm up a little bit because the system is coming from the south but after the last couple of days, I’m not sure I trust the forecasting guys over at the Weather Channel. At least I’ll be home for Christmas, well that is if I don’t get snowed in here.