Over the past 4 days I've probably got a total of 12 hours sleep.  Total.

That's the word from Grader Man.

Over the years I've come to know quite a few people from various walks of life. One of those people is Mark Krumvieda. I just call him Grader Man.

I've known Grader Man for years. Sort of. Over the phone. He would call and request a song or two and we would always visit about his job. Grader man takes care of roads just west of Sioux Falls. Hartford Township and Wellington Township near  Pumpkin Center and Highway 42.

I talked with Grader Man on the phone today. He says it's a crazy time of year. If you live in Sioux Falls or a local small town you most likely don't know what it's like in the country.  Road conditions in rural areas are night and day different.  With the relentless South Dakota winds road conditions and Grader Man's job can change daily, even hourly.

If the wind is really blowing after a good snow, I can plow down a road and by the time I get back in an hour that road can be totally blown shut again.

Pic by Mark Krumvieda

Grader man says it's helpful when landowners mow ditches. He says it's also helpful  when trees are kept out of ditches and fence lines. If you don't stop the snow, most of the time it will just keep going on it's way. The less you have to move the snow the better. It makes sense, you make a pile and the wind makes a bigger pile!

I asked about problems he sees. He mentioned landowners who push the snow from their yard and driveway across the road into the opposite ditch. He said, not only does it make bigger piles it's illegal. He would rather that they start at the highway and push the snow into their own yard.

When I used to talk to Grader Man I never thought to ask him his age. He told me today he's been running the grader for 10 years. He's 24 years old.  Take a look at the video. You can tell that sometimes it's really hard to tell where you're at. Grader Man says when everything is white, you just have to really drive by feel.

Thanks to Grader Man for the pictures and the videos. We also talked about maybe doing some ice fishing and actually meeting each other in person.

Side note and reminder, to all our neighbors and friends who live in town, things are different in the country.