A drive 70 miles north of Syracuse finds real cold and snow

I had the opportunity to head the Chevy Cruze north Tuesday morning for a 70-mile drive up Interstate 81 to the city of Watertown.

It was a rather pleasant 20 degrees F when I pulled out of the driveway of the beloved Little Bitty my dear wife Karen and I share in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood, with maybe an inch of snow hanging around on the ground at 9 a.m. sharp.

Garmin told me that this business trek would take me 72 minutes of mostly highway driving.

Of course, my well-traveled Nuvi — OK, already, I’ve read your message for years now that I really should upload some new maps — does not take weather into consideration. And I’d be driving straight through the dreaded show belt region, where Lake Ontario sits off to the west, the Tug Hill looms, and the news reporters drive 10 miles north of the city of Syracuse to file reports of snow falling in feet instead of inches.

Not today, though. Nothing but clear roads.

So I pulled off the highway in Adams Center, some 20 miles from my destination. I wanted to get a drink. And take pictures of what it looked like here in the land where just the week prior, so much snow had fallen in one day that the Army had closed Fort Drum, its big and significant base, for civilian travel and business.

The Nice n Easy Grocery Shoppe in Adams Center, N.Y.

The Nice n Easy Grocery Shoppe in Adams Center, N.Y.

The Nice n Easy Grocery Shoppe had both the unsweetened ice tea and the snow piles I sought.

Blue sky, big chill.

Blue sky, big chill.

I could tell they know what to do with snow around this neck of the woods a horn’s honk and a straight shot from the Interstate.

Garmin got me to the center of the city of Watertown just two turns from I81.

It's clear, cold and pretty.

It’s clear, cold and pretty.

I pulled into a spot that had a two-hour sign but no meter and walked a block or so to snap a few shots with my iPhone 6 because I was 25 minutes early for my 11 a.m. appointment.

Sun shines.

Sun shines.

No leaves for a while.

No leaves for a while.

Two words kept crossing me mind. Crisp and cold.

It must be gorgeous come June.

It must be gorgeous come June.

Invigorated by the stroll, I returned to my car and headed for my business destination.

Watertown temperature on Jan. 20, 2015.

Watertown temperature on Jan. 20, 2015.

Where I grabbed one last picture and thought, you’re not in Syracuse anymore, Dorothy.

Do you live in an area where a 70-minute drive can bring a big swing in temperature and snowfall? Would you walk around this new little city to grab photos on a 10-degree F day? What would you have gotten to drink at the Nice n Easy Grocery Shoppe?

58 thoughts on “A drive 70 miles north of Syracuse finds real cold and snow

    • Good for you getting the blood thinned out in warmer climes, Diana. And some Big Apple traits never go away, do they? Thank for dropping in to deliver your astute observation in all of its varied degrees. πŸ™‚

      Like

  1. Nice little trip you took there! I hope your business meeting went well. πŸ™‚

    Would I? Eh…I would have taken the pics from the comfort of my car! I don’t venture out in those temps unless it is absolutely necessary, and that’s even questionable. Although, you’d be happy to hear Mr. B, that I got myself a new LOOOONG down coat with a toasty warm faux-fur hood that allows me to stay out in the elements for at least 5 minutes! Woot! Woot! There is no hope for this HOT blooded island girl. πŸ™‚

    Like

  2. very pretty pics and it looks like a beautiful little town. i think you captured the feel of it, and it’s snow, perfectly. for me, if i head to the west side of the state, there is always an abundance of snow, but it’s a couple of hours away. cool day trip. )

    Like

  3. I can drive 20 minutes and the temp will change because of the wind off Galveston Island. Usually much warmer by atleast 10 degrees.

    I love a great day trip and 70 minutes up the road is ideal when it’s cold. I recall the feeling of a snug and warm car to the open door shock of 10Β°. Brr! ESPN radio…gesh! We need tunes, Man. πŸ˜‰

    Like

  4. Those photos are STUNNING! I especially LOVE the one with the flag. No, 70 minutes would not make a difference in my weather. I’d have to get up into the Carolinas to see any real change. Yes, I’d definitely get out in that 10 degree weather and take photos with you. And of you. πŸ˜€ And I’d have gotten a Sierra Mist or a bottled water. Probably water. Or maybe if they had hot chocolate (hot cocoa?), I’d have tried that unless it looked too fake. πŸ˜‰ Did I mention how much I love your photography? πŸ˜€

    Like

  5. 70 miles might well take us in to other temps. Especially if we go north or south. East or west may keep us more along what we have. And yes, I would get out and take pictures. And I might get a Diet Coke. Or a hot coffee. Or make an iced coffee. Or get an energy drink. And I might even get a Peppermint Patty to go along with the drink. πŸ™‚

    Like

  6. 70 miles – I don’t really ever drive that far unless i’m going away for more than a day! I would definitely have gone for a walk to take photos and I’m so glad you did; it looked like a great place. Latte. πŸ™‚

    Like

  7. I’m laying in bed drinking a cup of coffee and its a rain snow mix falling outside. It’s too warm to stick at 36 degrees, but it’s pretty coming down. I’m content to watch it from inside, wouldn’t want to be out in it.

    Like

  8. I would not walk in ten degrees; I would fall over to my death, as I would be in shock. I like my bathwater so scalding hot that I can press my fingers into my red skin and it looks lie sunburn. If it is too cold, I think to myself, “This is how the Titanic passengers must have felt before hypothermia set in.” We are different breeds. I would have of course bought Nice n Easy haircolor at that store; it demands it. A 70 min drive wouldn’t take me anywhere but more Texas Hill Country. It takes about 12 hrs (and another time zone) to cross my state, so that’s why out-of-state day trips are a beeyotch. BTW, snow looks like it can turn dirty quickly. Ew.

    Like

    • You are spoiled by many things down Austin way, Kerbey, but your keen sense of humor simply does not allow me to have a single pang of jealousy about any of them. πŸ™‚

      Yeah, snow gets dirty quickly. But more snow can cover it quickly, changing the ew to ah, if you’re into it.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I think you’d love it where I am right now. It’s classic Currier & Ives. Last weekend, rain turned overnight to heavy wet snow that stuck to everything, evergreens and bare branches alike. Then the temperature dropped suddenly and all that wet snow froze tight onto everything, including power lines. Almost a week later and the wind still hasn’t shaken it off. And it’s been full sun for days (but cold, mate).
    I don’t know if this link will work, but here’s an Instagram shot of the school where I work; gives you an idea. http://instagram.com/p/yFqHeMH1Yw/?modal=true

    Like

    • The link worked, Ross, and it is quite a glorious scene at reopened Stanstead College, you are right.

      I hope the extended duty supporting the weight of that ice did not down trees into the power lines and cause loss of service (and heat). That would truly be a bummer in your big Canadian chill, mate. Thanks for sharing the link to the awesome photograph.

      Like

  10. I like the quaintness of the town there, very pretty. The snow piles look like boulders, ha, ha! As for taking pics on that cold of a day, well now that my blood has thinned getting used to all this sunshine, probably not.

    Like

  11. Three comments. (1) I agree with Paul — great photos. (2) When I was in the army reserves, we had a few summer camps at Ft. Drum in Watertown. I recall one year in early June and it snowed there. Brrr. (3) A few years ago my wife and I drove from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park in late August. When we left San Francisco at around 10 a.m. it was 63 degrees. When we crossed the Bay Bridge and got into Oakland, it was almost 80. By the time we got to a town called Tracy, about 65 miles east of San Francisco, it was 102. It’s not unusual, during the summer months, for there to be 15-40 degree differences in temperature between San Francisco and cities and towns on the East Bay and further inland.

    Like

    • That’s a big heat-up as you go east, Doobster. That’s why your city by the Bay is so beloved.

      Snow in June. That’s too much, and quite the Fort Drum memory for you. There is a running joke around these parts about there being two seasons: Winter and July Fourth.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Mark – great photos. I would have gotten a very large coffee with a dollop of creme to warm my cockles (not sure what a cockle is, but it sounds good) and I would have wandered about at 10 F – assuming I was dressed for it. If I had a meeting and was wearing a suit and overcoat, I probably wouldn’t wander too far. but with a parka and boots, i would for sure check everything out.

    Ottawa is about 2 hrs north of Kingston which is right in the Great Lakes and about 5 C (9F) warmer but with more precipitation. We are on the Ottawa River and if i drive an hour further north of here , the temp is about 5 C cooler. Montreal is south-east of here about 2 hrs and it is warmer as well, also with more precip. So we are around the middle of this and that can have some odd consquences. Depending on the prevailing weather systems, they can push the precip north from the Lakes to us, or south making it colder. It is hard for the weatherman here and they are notoriously wrong. You might take your umbrella to work and come home with frigid temps.

    Fun post Mark. thanks for the pics and write up.

    Like

    • I like the fact that in Ottawa, you live in a place where the weatherman have to sweat it out, Paul. But that also makes it harder to know what’s what as you plan your day. Egads! I hope for my dear wife Karen and I to visit your city — and you — some lovely summer weekend.

      The biggest issueI had with my little trek around that part of the city pictured was that I was wearing my dress shoes, and my feet got very cold, very fast.

      Like

  13. good to hear about the road trip πŸ™‚ I would so not walk around and snap in those cold temps. But I’m glad you did πŸ˜‰ I might have perused the Nice n Easy (diet Pepsi if I was feeling stressed but nothing otherwise) but for sure would have made a stop at that Gourmet sandwich shop. Great day for soup (after the meeting, of course) and they probably had some locally baked sweets I couldn’t leave town without. Thanks for sharing your travels!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.