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West End News March 4

Tracks in snow by Stephan Hoglund
Tracks in snow by Stephan Hoglund

Finalcut_WestEnd_20100304.mp32.72 MB

The considered opinion of the folks who play in the snow is that this season has been as close to perfect as any season could be. Good, timely snow inland for the snow sleds, mushers, all varieties of skiers, and snowshoe folks.

An added benefit has been the mild temperatures and bright blue skies. So often snow is good, skies are blue, but high winds and bitter cold make snow sports downright uncomfortable. Other times snow is sparse, or there are problems with slush, or whatever. No need to extend the list. You all have lived through it, right?

So spread the word about how good the snow sports are now and will be for some time into the future. We can use the business.

Our family is going through an acute state of "What if?” Whenever our children were off on their various adventures, we worried about their health and safety, sometimes for good reason. Now we have the same worries about our grandchildren. Our children operated on the premise of "if we don't tell them, they won't have to worry.” The grandkids take the same position.

The massive earthquake in Chile reinforced our concerns. Our granddaughter, Clare, was in Chile from August through December 2008. She attended the university and lived in Vina del Mar, a coastal city very near Concepcion, the most ravaged city in Chile. Her significant other best friend, Dan, lived in Concepcion at the same time.

Since the quake they both have been trying to contact friends in Chile. They’ve had very little luck contacting Vina del Mar; but some luck in contacting Concepcion. So far those who they have talked to are OK. The report is that older buildings, constructed before modern earthquake engineering was in place, are significantly damaged. Buildings built to earthquake standards are OK so far as the building structure goes, but the contents of the buildings are a mess. They are told that it looks like the building was in a giant shaker that upset everything: pictures off the wall, dishes on the floor, furniture overturned and smashed, the works.

The blessing so far is that none of their friends are injured or missing. Property damage will be a burden.

We worried about Clare riding in rickety busses on single lane mountain roads into primitive communities; but we never thought of worrying about a record-breaking earthquake. So now we can add a new worry to our list. A grandson is about to go to Germany to study. Please tell us that Germany does not have earthquakes; but what about avalanches?