The sign along County Road 17 in Redfield, N.Y., reads "FREE SNOW," but I bet if you asked they might consider paying you to take some.
In the last six days, this remote town on the Tug Hill Plateau alongside Lake Ontario has been blanketed with enough lake effect snow to reach a basketball hoop. By some accounts, 122 inches since Sunday.
But at the Country Home Restaurant, Michael Brown is unphased. "It's a wonderful day," he says, staring out the front window while serving lunch to the assembled visiting news crews. (This reporter's recommendation: the 12 oz. cheeseburger.)
Redfield averages more than 300 inches of snow a winter, but rarely so much in so little time. Three more feet are forecast to fall by next week. "I wouldn't be surprised," Brown adds.
At four o'clock, his nine-year-old daughter Carrigan dashes through the door, peeling off layers of winter clothes. After shutting down for the last four days, her school, Sandy Creek Elementary, reopened today. So what did Carrigan and her classmates talk about? "Trying to get out early," she says. For recess, the students were stuck indoors. School rules: No playing outside when the temperature dips below 20 degrees.
In this town of 1,500, where you're more likely to see a snowmobile than a car, Carrigan can't get her mind off next Tuesday. She turns 10, making it legal for her to ride a snowmobile (with an adult) for the first time. "I can't wait to go snowmobiling!" she tells me.
With 10 feet of fresh powder on the ground, it'll be a great time to learn.