The Winter of 1968-69 vs. 2008-2009

I have spent many winters in Eastern Washington and each winter, we stacked up our snowfall against the dreaded winters of 1949-50 and 1968-69. Well, we finally topped the latter for the all-time local record in 2008-09…by about 0.1 inches. Was it rigged? Perhaps, but from what I have read and heard, we had it a lot easier than they did in 1968-69. I think the earlier winter had harsh storms with wind and bitter cold, where we just had continuous snowfall, day after day. After the snow was gone we still had snow showers every month, all the way up to June 10th! I don’t remember when they stopped but I think the Silver Mountain ski resort tried to be open every Saturday up to July, though your run options were severly limited.

So tying this back to the vintage photos collection, I have acquired estates which contain images from the winter of 1968-69. I examined one group and thought that I knew the approximate area in Spokane where I might find the hoouse. I used that knowledge and Bing Maps Birds Eye view feature and managed to find the house. I went into the neighborhood after the first of the year, 2009, to grab a few quick shots which approximated the angle of the old photos. It was fun…and a little bit creepy…


I found the house south of Audobon Park in Spokane.


The neighborhood hasn’t changed much, which is typical for that area.


Looking west.


The street is out there somewhere.


Back to the future, and a sample of another winter of significant snowfall, 1992-93. I drove a 1965 Ford pickup through that one. In late 1993 I bought a Toyota 4X4 and we had very little snow that winter.


The largest snowfall of the 2008-09 season; it set a two-day record for accumulation. Only three of us bothered to try to get to work that day. You can see that the Jeep had just enough clearance but the Xterra was plowing the snow.


One of the South Hill streets which was difficult passage for passenger cars. The Mayor of Spokane said, infamously, “It’s just snow, people!” when pestered about the city’s slow response. I didn’t drive around much because there was not really a safe place to park. In this case I found a snow pile and parked behind it. Soon after I made my rounds a contract plowing crew came through the area.


The Old Sunset Highway, west of Reardan.


There were deeper cuts farther up the road, where the road was cut into a hill. The County crews had only made one-lane cuts through the drifts. I started into one and found a County dump truck coming the other way. I backed out of the cut…


A local line crew was out punching drifts and I was able to get shots of them in different spots by leapfrogging ahead on the old highway.

The year after the snowfall record was set, we almost set a new record for the least snowfall for a season, go figure.

Next I’ll see about digging up some shots which capture the beauty of winter.




~ by mikespixels on February 15, 2013.

2 Responses to “The Winter of 1968-69 vs. 2008-2009”

  1. Can I use your picture of the train punching through with the old farmstead behind it? That is my house now and I’d love to have a copy. I’d credit you of course.

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