A Typical Idaho Spring | Idaho Company
Inside like a lion, outside like a lamb. It’s the cliche we all like to associate with Mars, although to be fair, your mileage will vary depending on your experience with both animals. Last week, however, was a fair demonstration of the underlying principle. From wildly choppy temperatures and winds to disrupted event schedules, the season is off to an unpredictable start. Although spring doesn’t officially start until after the weekend, it’s fair to say that the long winter has whetted most people’s appetite for a change. And so far, the signs are mixed.
Signs of the season
Frost Law is in effect in Oneida County until revoked by county government. The freeze law is designed to save wear and tear on departmental pavements during the thaw period, when local road surfaces tend to “soften up” due to the expansion and increased flexibility of the asphalt. Current Oneida County freeze law designations are for vehicles with a total weight of 10,000 pounds (including buses, which have an average weight over twice that limit), as well as semi- trailers and large cattle trailers. The Frost Act also includes vehicles with an axle weight of 14,000 pounds, which includes semi-trailers. The speed limit for vehicles with this designation is 30 mph on county roads. Restrictions generally remain in place for the duration of the spring months with a significant amount of freeze/thaw. Higher road speeds can cause a certain amount of buckling and rippling on paved roads, especially when braking at stop signs.
Back and forth weather
Spring is usually the season to get back outdoors for sports, and baseball and softball are certainly the area’s signature outdoor spring sports. Last week’s baseball and softball openers in American Falls had to be canceled due to weather conditions which, along with the wind chill, sank into the numbers. Fortunately, the events of this weekend were able to unfold in much better weather a few days later.
Persistent snow and coming flooding
Once the weather makes a full turn around the corner, flooding from upstream runoff and mud from waterlogged soil will become a familiar seasonal hazard. During the warmer days of the past few weeks, anyone who has had reason to visit the Oneida County Event Center or the parking lot near the City Park ball diamonds has first-hand experience of the potential for deep mud and sticky. Snow collection areas around the city have also started to melt, leaving a number of watery areas to be wary of. Water is of course welcome, although some of the accompanying puddles are less so. The city and county have both been involved in recent discussions regarding flood control, with a number of projects underway which it is hoped will reduce some of the flooding issues in the future, particularly on Bannock Street, which is the subject of a large public in the city. work project underway, although this spring will likely be another wet and muddy spring.
Spring break approaches
It can be hard to think of Spring Break while the snow is still on the ground, but nonetheless, the annual school holidays are approaching. This year’s spring break is scheduled for the week of Monday the 28th. Spring break often also marks the beginning of the rising gas prices that characterize modern life. This year, of course, the problem is exacerbated by the global oil market, which has led to record gas prices in much of the world. At press time, Malad gasoline prices were $4.39/gallon for Regular, which is expected to rise at least somewhat over the next few weeks. A recent announcement from OPEC regarding the possibility of releasing more oil into the market has kept prices relatively stable in recent days, but the future is unpredictable.
If the current gas situation makes a trip to the beaches of Florida or California (or even Bear Lake) less likely, consider some of the local possibilities. The agricultural extension office will hold an “Introduction to 4-H” course week during the week, to introduce interested people to the types of activities and information provided by 4-H.
The Iron Door Playhouse will kick off Spring Break weekend with a Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival, featuring artists from the Cowboy Poets of Idaho and the International Western Music Association on Friday the 25th and Saturday the 26th.
Regionally, Lagoon will hold its opening weekend on April 26 and 27. The park will also be open on April 2 and 3. The park officially opens full time the first week of May.
Pebble Creek Ski Mountain outside of Inkom, Idaho will hold its Kings Pond Skim event, where skiers and snowboarders can attempt to cross the Kings Pond thaw with their gear. Even for the spectators, the event is generally very entertaining.