Rural Life in the UP of Michigan Some stories about life on 160 rural acres in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

January 6, 2014

Cold Snap

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin0 @ 9:17 pm

It is cold, windy, and snowy here. It is so cold that my snow scoop has developed the dread condition: sandpaper bottom!

Here is a bit of background, in case you don’t know about the innovative way we have of moving snow up here. When one shovels snow, it is necessary to lift each shovelful, walk the requisite number of steps, and then toss the snow off the shovel into the pile. But a method exists to avoid the lifting, carrying, and tossing. We call the tool the yooper scoop.

snow3You hold onto the handle with mittened hands, scrape it along the crust of the snow, thereby making the removable snow boil up into the scoop hopper until it is full, then walk the contraption to the dump site, give it a quick push and then pull back quickly. The snow slides out of the scoop, and you then guide the scoop to its next load. It makes the shovel method seem like eating popcorn with chopsticks.

At the beginning of the year, I treat my scoops with silicone spray. This stuff works like magic. The snow won’t stick to the scoop once it is properly siliconed, that is unless it gets very cold outside. The cold weather sometimes makes ice crystals stick to the bottom of the scoop, making the bottom surface like sandpaper. Trying to glide across the snow with it empty is hard enough, but when the scoop is full of snow, you almost need a dog team to move it. And when it is that cold outside, the last thing I have patience for is dragging the scoop when it feels like it is velcroed.

snow2I did my best to wipe the ice crystals off the bottom with my mitten. That, coupled with the friction from the scooping eventually freed the bottom up, and the rest was relatively easy. I do most of my plowing with my trusty Scout, by the way. I have a block heater for it, but even then the Scout complains bitterly when I start it in this weather. This old Scout sure does know how to move snow.

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