Avalanche forecaster Jerry Roberts and I are riding in his orange welfare rig. We’re on our way to check storm boards for recent snow accumulation totals. It’s the middle of the night. Our tires leave tracks several inches deep. Snowflakes in the air stop, eerily, strobe-like, in each sweep of the yellow flossing light on the roof…..
“3-Mary-14, this is 3-Mary 51. Come in Doug.” “Ya, Jerry, this is 14. I’m over in Ironton Park on my way up. It’s snowing pretty hard. Visibility is pretty poor. See you on the pass.”
“I’ve got a lot of respect for the plow drivers,” Jerry says working the defroster to keep the wipers from icing up completely. “Man, that’s a lonely, hateful job. Ninety percent boredom and 10 percent terror.”