Shovel or get out of the way? You decide.

I come from a place that exists near the first knuckle of the left thumb (or right, depending on how you look at it).  ‘Da U.P., eh!  At least that’s what is said.  Those that know have experienced a winter in the beauty of the Copper Country will understand the following analogy.  The Hita rainy season is much like winter in the Copper Country.

Let me explain.

In the Copper Country winter, it snows.  And it snows.  It doesn’t really stop; it slows down a little, letting the sun peak out periodically to remind the denizens that it is still there.

In the Hita rainy season, it rains.  And it rains.  It doesn’t really stop; it slows down a little now and then.  The sun knocks on the clouds trying to break through and when it does, the rain just slows down a little.  It may not look like it is raining from the inside, but once you step out into the muggy air you can feel the mist on your face.

That’s the normal stuff.  What happens during extreme weather?

In the Copper Country, a Nor’western might sweep down, picking up a good deal of moisture from the unfrozen Lake Superior and proceed to dump it with strong gusts, which can pile two to three feet in a short period of time.  Everybody gets out their shovels, snow scoops, plows, snow blowers, spoons, whatever it takes to remove snow.  A few hours later, the snow banks are higher and life returns to normal.  Pretty innocent.

Now I must get serious.  Hita recently experienced very extreme rain.

Nearby Ohara Shrine

Somewhere around four inches fell in about an hour after many weeks of consistent rain.  The ground was already saturated and could absorb no more.  A nearby stream transformed into a mighty raging river in moments!  The river escaped the confines of the retaining walls and rushed into the city.  Cars were submerged and buildings were drowned.  Luckily, there were few injuries, although the property damage was outrageous.  The raging torrent was frightening.  It’s been said that the recent flood was the worst in memory, not since 1953 had so much rain fell so quickly! I’ve experienced the power of water before, storms on Lake Superior and in the Atlantic Ocean, but never when it expressed unbridled fury.  Mother nature is beautiful and fierce.

Nearby Ohara Shrine

One of the most intriguing byproducts of travel is the array of weather that you get to experience.  Each area has its thing.  The summer thunderstorms in the hills of Southern Indiana are aggressive and fearsome but they lose steam quickly.  The Southeastern Virginia coast receives the weak side of Hurricanes and shiny ice storms in winter.  All of them beautiful.  All of them fierce.  All of them unique.

Before I left home I was looking forward to dealing with one less Copper Country winter.  It sure is amazing what will trigger homesickness.  I’ll take snow any day.


About Matthew J. Durocher

Matthew Durocher is a graduate of Michigan Tech University. He acquired his BA in English along with a minor in Music Composition and a certificate in Writing in Spring 2012. His style is one of passion and musicality. One foot is firmly rooted in tradition while the other slides dangerously close to the clouds.
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One Response to Shovel or get out of the way? You decide.

  1. Pingback: Winter is Coming. I Can Smell it. | Nihon i Go

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