Our assignment at Geneva Road last night lasted from 9:00 pm until 4:00 am. Temperatures started out around 31F and eventually dropped to 23F and it was quite breezy. There was actually a Winter Storm Watch in effect from 2:00 am until 9:00 am this morning and a 50% chance of snow with up to 2" accumulation -- but all we got were some snow flurries.
We got an unexpected break about 10:30 and sat in the nice warm car until almost midnight. We were told there were some vicious dogs loose in the neighborhood and to stay in our cars until they were controlled. No details about the dog or dogs but I'm guessing it might have been a guard dog from Timpanogos Harley Davidson since the animal control and cops seemed to be focused right around there -- or maybe that just happened to be where the animals were spotted.
Our Hottie Toe Warmers worked pretty good for at least the 5 hours they are rated for, but by about 2:30 my toes were starting to get cold with it 23F outside. It was around 23 most of the night. The Hot Hands hand warmers we picked up at Walmart worked pretty well and stayed hot until after we got home. One advantage to the hand warmers is you can take them out and re-expose them to fresh air and shake them and re-activate them. Kind of tough to do that with toe warmers stuck to your socks inside your boots! Another trick I used was to pull my thumbs and fingers out of the fingers of the gloves and just cradle the pad in my palms to warm my fingers and thumbs. The pads don't fit well down into the fingers. Guess I should look into getting some mittens.
The foreman was really glad to see us when we got there last night. He already had both light stands set up, although he had to move one so I wouldn't be back-lighted. He said they started their shift at 5:00 pm and could have used us there at 6:00. Kind of hard for us to do when we didn't get called until 7:00 pm and given and ETA for 9:00 pm. We have been asked to come back tonight at 6:00 pm. The forecast for tonight is a low of 0F, so it is going to be a cold one! The hourly forecast says it should be about 15F when we arrive at 6:00 and will drop to 9F by 10:00 or 11:00. It is only 17F outside right now (at 11:30 AM!). If the crew keeps working as long as they did last night we'll log about 10 hours tonight.
We are going to try using two Hotties on each foot tonight -- one on top of the toes and one underneath. I wore mine on top last night, Mom put hers on the bottom. I think she was able to "stir" hers with her toes and keep them working longer than mine did. I know there was still heat available because mine warmed up when I took off my boots and was able to expose them to the air and mix up the stuff inside the packets a little bit. Using two at the same time won't extend how long they last, but I'm hoping it will get our feet and our boots warmer so they'll stay warmer longer -- if nothing else, they should help against the colder temperatures tonight.
I did break down and put my ski mask on last night and it definitely kept my nose and cheeks warmer. I'm thinking I may wear my beanie on top of my ski mask for extra insulation on my head and ears. I figure a scarf will help with the chill on the back of my neck between the fur collar on my snowsuit and my ski mask.
I think we're going to pick up some body warmer packets to stuff inside our jackets or pants if necessary tonight. Mom and I both didn't really feel cold (except for our feet again) but our backs did get a little cool in the breeze at 23F. At this point I can only imagine what it will be like as it approaches 0F. I think it is a good idea to have some options. We're already dressed warm enough that we won't face frostbite or hypothermia, but it sure can get uncomfortable when you get cold and can't get in the car to get warm! And then muscles start to tighten up and hurt too. Not fun! I noticed my back and shoulders were getting pretty tight and tired last night from constantly crunching my shoulders up. Part of that was a deliberate attempt to keep my fur collar up around my neck but a lot of it was just an involuntary reaction to the cold. Mom's back was hurting her too last night. I figure a body warmer at the small of the back will not only warm our backs but warm the blood going down into our legs and feet too. We'll get this figured out, just like we got the hot summer days figured out.
P.S. PRC canceled all flagging assignments tonight, citing weather so we weren't stuck out in 0F cold. We did get the body warmer paks so we'll be prepared for the next one. I also got some mittens -- the kind hunters use that are made so you can open up the palms. They are essentially a pair of gloves with cut-off fingers and a mitten that flips up over the naked fingers. Unfortunately, it was the last pair at Sportsman's Warehouse so we'll have to keep looking to get some for Mom. She has some knit mittens of the same design, but they won't be warm enough by themselves for flagging. This style of mittens might be useful for PPS work in cold weather too.
Latest weather forecast is showing 2F tonight instead of 0F and 2F tomorrow night instead of 7F. If tomorrow night is going to be as cold as tonight there probably won't be any flagging tomorrow night. We have let Labor Ready know we are available for flagging tomorrow during the day since we won't be up all night tonight. We did get a call from them around 8:30 with a flagging opportunity in Spanish Fork, but since we'd been out until 4:00 this morning, we weren't able to take it. So we don't have a clue what tomorrow will bring.