Wobal Glarming: A Global Warming Miniseries

by eduardo ramos

In the winter, it seems normal for one to desire the fall of snow, or at least a freeze. On some days this winter, nature satisfied those who desired precipitation. In my own case, such days bring me to wander outdoors to enjoy what most people try and avoid: the inclement, or bad weather.

My snow-appetite whetted by the crust of ice on Tartaruga Soedade (Turtle Solitude, a silver car with a moon- or sun-roof), we decided to head up to the lake house of my best friend Matthew, from university. Having monitored the weather conditions in Deep Creek, Maryland for weeks, the place began to inhabit a small mythology in my mind, one that was born on an LCD monitor through the portals of places such as weather.com and webcams. It seemed to snow every day up in Deep Creek, so we went.

It snowed around here a few days before, but it was really slush, and not snow. The result of the cold temperatures was a layer of ice that I had to break Tartaruga out of, noisily, in the middle of the night. We left in a haze the next day, as it is not easy for me to leave my wife for a night. The car was hazy so we opened the moon-roof for a while once we got to US-33 in Harrisonburg. I was compelled to photograph the town, despite operating a manual transmission and becoming very involved in the scenery. I almost hit a jeep from behind, but I didn’t. I am sure the passenger in the car, Rafa, was nervous because of this.

Once in Oakland, Maryland, you can use the gas station bathroom at Sheetz. It is a pretty modern facility, and you can purchase anything from canned Vienna sausages to air fresheners for your car.

On the way to Deep Creek Lake, we had to use the toilet in other places. One was a gas station that had an outside wall mural stating in Latin “The mountains always free.” The gas station was on the corner of US-33 and some other big road, a two-lane highway, and the snow was picking up. The sign inside said “bathroom for customers only” so I bought a granola bar, which cost a dollar and made me feel kind of silly. The men inside were senior citizens; two were sitting around a small table, talking calmly, and they wore hunting gear. I noticed the walls were covered in mounted animal heads, but I decided not to photograph them. The people seemed friendly and I did not want to offend them with my incredulous gaze at their trophies (I figured they’d assume I was being condescending). I did photograph the flypaper strips in their bathroom, which was very shocking, as it was winter, and not many people have flypaper anymore.

Once in Deep Creek, there are a multitude of opportunities for recreation, indoors and out. From driving in the snow, to skiing in the snow, there is surely something for everyone. Even Rafa, inexperienced in extreme winter sports, enjoyed being there, because there is truly something there for everyone. We were able to ski on Deep Creek Lake, and we saw an interesting saloon in the woods that we did not go to. Matthew made us dinner and a peace pipe, and created duck tacos out of Chinese food leftovers from a group dinner two nights before in Falls Church, Virginia. We ate breakfast one morning at Little Sandy’s, a small diner with lots of funny hats stapled to the walls and ceiling.

On the way back home, there was a blizzard. It didn’t stop snowing the whole time we were at Deep Creek, and it got worse when we left. Snow is not as enjoyable when you have to manage your car in it. Despite the conditions, we made it home in time for dinner, and my car was in need of a wash.

A special thanks to Matthew, kind host, Rafa, kind companion, and to my wife for inspiration

Share this | March 1, 2007 | department: photography | No Comments |

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