Wind gusts reached 70 to 100 mph in some places, according to the Historical Society. Some snowdrifts were 20-30 feet tall and hundreds of yards long. There was no visibility for hours during the storm. Travel was discouraged and businesses shut down.”
(Bismarck Tribune Article by Jenny Michaels, March 4, 2013)
Christmas Day was called off at our home north of Mandan. And, yes, it was a huge disappointment. Snow started falling, after some rain, about 4 p.m. Dec. 25. It continued throughout the night and into the next day with some pretty wicked wind.
It’s a good thing we have a sliding patio door or we may have been stuck indoors for a lot longer than two days as the wind fiercely sculpted some fairly high snowbanks on both the front and south entrances to our home. However, this snowfall did not equal the Blizzard of ’66.
I was 10 years old at the time, or close to it, as my birthday is in March. We hunkered down in the gray darkness thankfully warmed by a coal furnace because the electricity was knocked out. After the storm, while adults were digging out their cars and businesses, we had a blast digging snow tunnels and walking where we had never walked before – to roof lines of homes. Many of the Women Behind the Plow talked about that blizzard and what it meant to be living on the farm – isolated and pretty much left up to their own devices caring for both families and livestock. I thought it would be fun to share a few photos of the Blizzard of 1966. A reminder that we are not alone in our battle against Mother Nature.
While searching for my Blizzard of 1966 photos I found these “Winter Jokes” and thought I would share, not taking credit for authoring these.
1. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a combine.
2. “Vacation” means going to the Day’s Inn in Minot, Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks, for the weekend.
3. You measure distance in hours.
4. You know several people who have hit deer more than once.
5. You often switch from “heat” to “A/C” in the same day
6. You use a down comforter in the summer.
7. Your grandparents drive 65 mph through 13 feet of snow during a blizzard, without flinching.
8. You see people wearing hunting clothes to social events.
9. You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both doors unlocked.
10. You think of the major food groups as beef, walleye, and Bud Light.
11. You carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend or wife knows how to use them.
12. There are 7 empty cars running in the parking lot at the food store at any given time.
13. You design your kids Halloween costume to fit over a snow suit.
14. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.
15. You think sexy lingerie is wool socks and flannel pajamas.
16. You know all four seasons as: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction.
17. It takes you 3 hours to go to the store for one item even when you’re in a rush because you have to stop and talk to everyone in town.
18. The migration of Sugar-Beat trucks signals the onset of winter.
19. You actually understand these jokes and forward them to all your friends from North Dakota and elsewhere.
Barn on the Elmer M. and Irene Brindle farm south of Hazelton – Emmons County, ND, Blizzard of 1966.
Note the tunnel in the middle of the snowbank on the Lloyd and Mavis Erlenbusch farm in McIntosh County.