First the storm, then the funby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
It's back to work Monday for the many people who had an unexpected long weekend because of the snowstorm. Once the shoveling was done, the fun began.
St. Paul, Minn. — There hasn't been much snow this winter -- until now. Across the state, average snowfall from the two storms ranged from one foot to more than 30 inches. Some people loved it.
"It's really fun. it's crazy," said Amony, 14, who knows what it takes to keep having fun in the cold.
"Snow pants, boots and a big jacket!" she said.
Amony and dozens of others were out on Saturday in St. Paul's Como Park -- sledding, jogging, walking the dog and skiing. The sun was shining and despite cold temperatures, it felt warm. Amony's specialty is snow angels.
"We make snow angels, and sometimes we make shapes in the snow like hearts."
On the other side of the hill at Como Park, Jesse, Amy and Dan were organized. They dug a sled course through the trees that curved at the bottom. They had a wooden toboggan with a green cushion on it, and a red plastic sled.
Despite all the work he put into digging the sled track, Jesse's goals were simple.
"Just getting a nice run that goes all the way down. That's been my goal all day. I've gotten it once," Jesse said. "This is the best I've ever seen it. I come out here every year, and this is the most snow we've had."
Nearby, the Larkin family talked about building a snowman in the front yard. So far, they hadn't built one. Instead, they were having a snowball fight.
Grace, 3, and her 6-year-old brother Michael seemed less enthusiastic than their dad, Tim.
"I want to build a snowman, I want to go sledding. I just figure I can use them as an excuse," said Tim Larkin.
In West St. Paul, Chuck Shields was plowing, just like he's done for days. His company, TS Service, worked around the clock to keep up as the inches kept falling.
"This is a wet, heavy snow, so we can only push about four or five inches. So we have to go out after four inches and then another four inches until it's all done," said Shields. "And then we have to come back and clean everybody up afterwards. The big plows go on the streets and they fill the ends of the driveways, of course, and we have to clean that up. And then there's shoveling and snowblowing. So there's a lot to do."
The two feet of snow that fell along the North Shore has ski resorts jumping. But this gift from Mother Nature can't replace the $200,000 spent by the Lutsen resort already, making snow earlier in the season.
"We make a lot of snow and most people know that," said Tom Rider, co-owner of Lutsen. "But for some reason, when it's not in their backyard they just don't get as excited about coming up to the North shore as they would otherwise."
Even though some guests couldn't get there for the weekend because of dangerous road conditions, Lutsen was packed. Rider thinks next weekend will be even busier.
"We're so busy, by default I'm the guy who's grooming the cross-country trails," said Rider. "There's lots of snow out here. It's just beautiful."
In Grand Marais, Barbara Getchus, owner of Heston's Lodge and Resort, also had to bring on extra help to handle all the winter holidaymakers.
"We're ready for it," said Getchus. "We ourselves here put our children to work -- so they just have to get out the snowshovels a little more often than they might have expected to, but fortunately they like snow too."
Enjoy it while you can, since some of that snow may already start to melt within a matter of days. Temperatures in central and southern Minnesota are expected to hit the upper 30s or low 40s by the middle of the week.
- Morning Edition, 03/05/2007, 7:55 a.m.