Behind the Scenes with Pete -- Journey Into the Snow Storm of Death -- Part I

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blog post and movie by Pete Jackson

I’ve been in a blizzard before and it’s not pretty – it’s manageable but not pretty. I was in my first blizzard in downtown Chicago today, and it’s downright ridiculous. Last night we got into town right before the snow started and since we’re in a major city, parking is not cheap – between $30-$40 per night. Using a tip from a doorman, we found $18/night parking that was about 5 blocks away. How is that a problem, you ask? Well, the lot is automated and requires that you go back every 24 hours to buy another ticket to keep your car parked there - otherwise you’ll be towed. What that meant for this troupe is that one of us had to go back to the car at night in the middle of Armageddon to renew the parking.

I didn’t know that the game of “not it” was actually considered a valid way of avoiding duties in adulthood. Apparently Joe and Torio agree that the game holds true for all ages. But I’ll admit it, watching snow shoot through the streets all day at 70-mph didn’t really look too bad from inside. When it came time to put on the old snow jacket and prepare to face the elements I was feeling pretty good.

So I walked outside and the snow hit my face at the speed of a train. The snow was traveling so fast that the flakes literally pierced my eyeballs (seriously, I got a paper cut on my eyeball one time and this was just as bad). So I ducked back inside, secured my jacket hood, put on sunglasses as a makeshift ski mask and went for round two.

It was horrible. By the time I got to the car I felt lucky to be there and that was having traveled with the wind to my back. The car was my sanctuary, the pod of life that would revive me. After sitting in the car with the heat on for a few moments, it was apparent that it was time to go. The snow was starting to melt on my jeans and any good outdoorsman will tell you that cotton is a death cloth in winter. Once it gets wet and you remain in the cold it becomes a freezer for your body.

So I paid my fee and made the horrible trek back to the hotel as wind shattered windows around me. “Never again,” I promised myself. Although the snow will continue tomorrow, it will not be me who has to trudge forth into the wintery night. With you as my witness, I officially declare with great pride, “not it.”

- Pete

Tuesday, February 1, 2011