Tuesday, December 10, 2013

First Person: The Ice Station

It had to happen sooner or later-- my first Road Dog day of the 13-14 winter.  I saw the forecast days ago, and Noreen raised the possibility over the weekend.  Knowing it was coming didn't make it less pleasant.

I'm not a huge road report fan.  Most of it is common sense, but we are in the picture and information business, so we do the show and tell.  It's good to see what's going on out there.  It's what we do.

Let me back up a bit.  This whole thing started with a phone call from the boss right after I got off the set Sunday morning.  The station is great about getting hotel rooms for us when the weather is nasty.  I declined.  I don't live that far away, and my dog would miss me.

The ride to work wasn't all that bad.  My town's road crew does a good job, and most of my trip is via interstate.  It was salted and good to go.  I did leave home a little early to be on the safe side.

When I got to the office, we kicked around live shot locations.  We wanted something in the higher elevations and Mountaintop did the trick.  A little secret-- we wanted a place where we could establish a microwave signal without extending the truck's mast all the way.  Ice coated masts don't like to come down.

We found a nice spot in a Rite Aid parking lot.  It was safely close to Route 309, without being ON 309.  Food, drink, and a bathroom were close by.  Those are essentials because we had a live hit every 15 minutes, and we knew we'd be tethered to the truck for hours.

Our last hit was 7:56 AM.  It was then out to gather fresh video and interviews for our noon broadcast.  I'm a big White Haven fan.  It's a pretty town, filled with friendly people, and it has a nice little commercial district.  Ice coated everything.  The story was there right in front of us.  We got what we needed and hustled back to the office.

It was a beautiful, but dangerous morning.  I'm glad we made it through unscathed, and I hope we gave you some good information in the process.

Road Dog Day 1 was in the books, and I'm sure there will be many more to come.