I have to say it again: I’m getting really tired of the wind.
This morning I heard the gusts (some 83 mph along the Chief Joseph Highway according to the weatherman) and began to wonder if I should simply skip errands.
Contending with the wind would sap my brainpower, dry out my eyes and mess with my hair. After all, on a day like this, how could anyone be expected to make it from one place to the next in one piece, let alone perform at their non-winded level best?
Why, just taking out the garbage is fraught with danger. I was nearly knocked off my feet by gust after gust of the noisy, blustery stuff. I felt like Old Man Winter’s evil cousin Windy Wilbur was kidnapping me by sending me sailing to neighboring Big Horn County – for what purpose, I have no idea. But knowing how the wind plays such havoc to my hair, I’m guessing he does it just for laughs. The wind is like that, you know.
Of course, on a day like yesterday, I could swear Cody has to be the windiest place on earth. Au contraire: The Guinness Book of World Records and National Geographic Atlas have both listed Commonwealth Bay in Antarctica as the windiest place on the planet. The Bay records wind speeds greater than 150 mph on a regular basis with an average annual wind speed of 50 mph. The highest wind speed ever recorded on the surface of the earth remains the 231 mph measured on April 12, 1934, atop Mt. Washington, N.H.
In the days before anemometers, folks gauged wind speed by what was happening around them. Admiral Beaufort of the British Navy developed a scale early in the 17th century that seafaring types used to estimate wind speed by observing its effects on the land and sea. If smoke rises straight up, the wind is calm; at two or three miles per hour, smoke starts to drift slowly. With a “strong breeze” (25-31 mph), “umbrellas are hard to use; large branches on trees move.” A moderate gale at 32-38 mph makes it hard to walk. Tree branches break in a “fresh gale,” 39-46 mph, and we can lose roof shingles at Beaufort’s “strong gale,” 47-54 mph.
What does it mean if one’s barbecue grill is sailing toward Powell?
Think about it: If Wilbur the Wind causes turbulence for airplanes in the sky, what chance do I have to stagger from my car to the post office door?
Here I am, such a tiny little thing, trying to navigate by dipping and darting from behind those really tall pickup trucks or SUVs in an effort to block the wind. Is it any wonder I’m a little distracted when I finally get to the counter?
My hair is tangled, my eyes filled with sand and my mouth totally parched.
Did I really need to mail that birthday present?
Maybe a grappling hook should be required equipment these days. Surely if I tossed it to my Jeep’s bumper, I could pull myself along the rope to get in the door. I’m thinking with the Cody Zephyr, it’s worth a try.