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Where's the snow?
Random Thoughts, January 19
Random Thoughts by Wendell Smith

MUSCODA - I realize there is still a lot of winter ahead of us, but right now it seems okay to ask “where’s the snow?” In December there were numerous snowfalls, enough for a snowman or two in the village. And there was a white Christmas. But since then snow has come in the form of a few dustings, or perhaps an inch or two.

I recently came across a 1975 issue of this newspaper that carried a story about the amount of snow recorded in the village. Edward Koss was the weather records keeper at that time and he reported than an early February storm brought about six inches of snow. Looking back, he said 2½ inches of snow was recorded in November with another 12 inches in December, 13½ inches in January and 20 inches so far in February, all with blowing and drifting.

The local snowmobile trail is visible from our front room and we have noted a few machines were out and about this winter, but the number has been limited by the lack of snow. Maybe I am not wired to pay attention to the number of snow machines that have been out and about. Back in the days when snowmobiles were popular, I can think back and recall only once when I was a passenger. It was a new Rupp machine owned and driven by Stan Patch who proudly took me for a ride that circled the village.

I also recall Dean Cooley, snow machine dealer, trying to interest me in the sport. He was not successful. He was also working on Rich Linscheid, who explained, “If I need to feel the thrill of cold air hitting my face, I’ll roll down the window in my car and stick my head out.” I agreed with Rich. When winter comes I enjoy the heater in the car.

However, the machines enjoy offer enjoyment for many folks, sometimes with husband and wife each having one and sometimes journeying many miles. There was a group of snowmobilers from this area who rode from here all the way to Lake Superior.

The first winter Vi and I were in Muscoda, 1958, we rented a house south of the railroad tracks and often walked to work at our uptown shop.

There were times when the open field along our route was knee deep with snow so we wore our hip boots (designed for trout fishing) to stay dry during our trek. We were told by local folks, “It’s usually not like this!”

But on the other hand, an elderly farmer who lived south of the village, informed us “it could be worse.” He then told the story about the winter when he and his wife used their bobsled and team of horses to travel from their farm to the Town of Muscoda meeting house to vote in November. Then, he said, when the time came to vote in April, they once again rode in the bobsled, behind the same horses, on top of the same snow, to vote. Again, the newcomers were told, “But it’s usually not like that!”

So now, in our elder years, we remain uncertain during the current “global warming” debate. What weather is normal for southern Wisconsin and what is “usually not like this!”