Icy But Beautiful

Icy But Beautiful

By Kate Simmons, Pottawattamie County Conservation Community Relations Coordinator
Last weekend the weather did everything it could to keep people indoors. Near constant rain & falling temperatures coated the area in ice making driving a hazard and even walking was a little difficult at times.  Even day to day operations became a challenge leading to our decision to close the park.  Natural Resource Specialist Chad Graeve was on duty & sent me the following photo.
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It may not look like much but this was how he managed to feed our wood burning furnace here at the lodge on Monday in the midst of the ice storm.  For those of you who have visited us you know well the beautiful curving drive that leads to the top of the hill here at the lodge. When that road and hill are covered with ice it makes movement nearly impossible. How on earth do you get firewood up that hill and then back down to the furnace on the north side of the building when there is a solid layer of ice on the world? Well, here is Chad’s experience in his own words.
“Kate, this the only photo I took. This was Monday morning at first light when I was trying to deliver firewood to the wood furnace. I couldn’t walk on the asphalt nor gravel, and vehicles couldn’t drive. I was able to get the loaded sled to the main parking lot, but couldn’t get the traction necessary to pull it. It is stranded in this photo while I made my way back to the Barn to get more rope. I ended up using 100′ of rope and dragging the sled from the edges. When I had to cross asphalt I would crawl on all fours and then drag the sled to me once I was on grass again. It took me two hours to deliver two loads to the furnace.”
Chad is truly dedicated to maintaining our facilities here at the park. I’m not sure I would have been able to jerry-rig a system like that to get the job done.
Despite the inconvenience and the danger of the road conditions the ice was a beautiful sight and we managed to get some really wonderful photos.
Farm Creek Public Wildlife Area

Farm Creek Public Wildlife Area

Sunrise at Hitchcock Nature Center

Sunrise at Hitchcock Nature Center

Icy sculpture work at Hitchcock Nature Center

Icy sculpture work at Hitchcock Nature Center

Hitchcock Nature Center

Hitchcock Nature Center

Hitchcock Nature Center

Hitchcock Nature Center