Millersville University meteorologist Eric Horst said this week’s snowstorm was the biggest spring snow on record here. It also earned a place among the county’s five biggest March storms, LNP reported. The most snow fell at MU, where 17.5 inches were measured over the course of the two-day storm, Horst said Wednesday morning. Most county snowfall reports ranged from 11 to 15 inches.
Spring arrived this week like a pillowcase full of quarters to the midsection.
Kudos are in order for those who were not curled up on the sofa with a cup of hot cocoa but, instead, were working through the two-day storm.
First, our meteorologists. They get a lot of heat — some of it from us — about overhyping storms or missing on predictions. But really, they are right most of the time, and this time they were on the money. No one can say they were surprised by our snowfall totals.
To Pennsylvania Department of Transportation workers, municipal road crews and all who worked to clear highways, streets, school parking lots, sidewalks and driveways, we say thank you. By Thursday morning, most roads were clear.
And finally, to all good Samaritans who shoveled an elderly neighbor’s sidewalk or driveway. You didn’t have to do it, and no one would have thought less of you if you didn’t. But you and your sore back pushed through and got the job done.
To you and to everyone else who helped Lancaster County through one of the worst March storms on record, we say well done.
Getting the ax
Lancaster County’s first ax range has opened inside Meduseld Meadery at 252 Harrisburg Pike. Indoor ax ranges have opened in and around Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in the last two years. Last week, Generation Axe opened in Harrisburg.
As LNP’s Erin Negley reported online Saturday, the Harrisburg Pike range was built in a new area at the meadery in February, after an insurance office moved from the building. The expansion has a small stage and tables. The ax range is inside a safety cage.
At this point, we can guess what you’re thinking.
“Of all the burning issues of the day, why are you writing about ax throwing?”
Well, it’s Friday and we thought you could use the break. Frankly, so could we.
But before we discuss the merits of ax throwing inside an establishment that serves alcohol — and yes, much to our surprise, this is a thing — we should probably define a few terms.
Mead: a fermented, alcoholic drink made with honey. It’s an ancient beverage celebrated in Norse mythology and in literature from Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.”
Meadery: a restaurant that serves mead and food, often with a medieval motif.
National Axe Throwing Federation: The NATF “represents the sport of axe throwing on behalf of over 3,000 league members in over 50 cities and five countries, with a mandate to promote safety, sportsmanship and competitive protocol.”
If terms such as mead and meadery are foreign to you, don’t feel bad. We had to look them up to make sure.
But just because we’ve never thrown back a mead or two and tossed an ax for fun doesn’t mean it’s not a worthwhile activity, though it does seem a lot more dangerous than traditional bar activities such as, say, pool.
“I thought about darts, but it doesn’t really run with our theme well,” Willie Wrede, manager of Meduseld Meadery told Negley. “As soon as I was looking up different activities in bars, ax ranges started to pop up as well. I thought, ‘That’s perfect: mead and axes.’ ”
You won’t be dodging flying axes at the meadery. There are rules, and throwing is structured.
Ax coaches, called “huscarls” at Meduseld, as Negley reported, are on hand to explain the rules and demonstrate how to throw. They also make sure people haven’t had too much to drink. (That’s a relief.)
Throwers should be at least 18. Younger throwers will be allowed with a parent supervising.
To start out, Meduseld is offering 10 throws for $10. Later on, the ax range will be available to be rented in blocks of time, such as an hour.
As you might imagine, there is some skepticism, at least if the comments posted on LancasterOnline are any indication.
“What could possibly go wrong?”
“They better have a good lawyer on liability issues.”
“Just what we need — more dangerous ‘sports’ ... really now — at a bar?”
We share that skepticism.
And we must admit that hurling axes and consuming alcohol seems like a match made a few steps lower than heaven, and one fraught with danger and liability issues.
However, people do seem to enjoy it. And according to a January article on Forbes.com, there haven’t been any lawsuits or casualties related to ax throwing.
There are even leagues popping up all over the country. In fact, Meduseld plans to reserve its range at least one night a week for leagues.
There you have it. We might be a little late in acknowledging the merits of ax throwing, but this is as good a time as any to, well, bury the hatchet.