Saturday, February 9, 2008

Going to New Mexico

A week ago Saturday I drove out of Montrose enroute to Durango and had a knee-knocking experience driving over Red Mountain Pass in snow flurries on the Million Dollar Highway between Ouray and Silverton, two old western mining towns. It is a two-lane roadway that clings to the side of the mountain (no guard-rails) in the best of times, which is July and August. In the worst of times, like when I was on it, it is a one-lane plowed path through a wintery white landscape where a driver keeps on the roadway by driving alongside the reflectors lining the side of the road, if they aren't buried in the six-foot high snowbank. Bring sunglasses for the reflected glare (which I didn't have). This roadside icefall greeted me on the way up.

Once I got to Bayfield, Colorado, where my cousin L lives, we went to see her Dad, my Uncle Harry, in Pagosa Springs. He's 88 and doing really well.

It snowed the next day of course. L stays fit by walking in addition to spending hours taking care of the animals on her small ranch before she goes to work each day. I walked with her a couple of miles in the fresh snow on her forest-access roadway at 7200 feet and she wore me out!

That night we watched the mighty Giants slay the Patsies in the Super Bowl, going outside several times to make sure the TV-dish was clear of snow. L's husband, W, a great guy, allowed me to choose watching the big professional football game over watching a Professional Bull Riding meet which he wanted to watch. That's the way it is in the mountains.
I was going to drive to Santa Fe on Monday to see my sister who lives there. It was snowing and all the passes were closed, although the back road into New Mexico via Chama was open. Here's what my car looked like on Monday morning. Those two white blobs in the background are the cars of L and W.

Here's what the main highway looked like.

So we "moved snow," as W calls it, for a few hours, using shovels, the snowblower and the snowblade on the tractor. (W hard at it so we could get the door open at least.)

And then I drove away. Here's what the road into New Mexico looked like. I went slow (doh!) and the drive to Santa Fe wasn't too bad. I arrived there mid-afternoon on Monday.


Danielle in Iowa said...

Crazy snow! It makes me jealous. I'm sick. I know.

CewTwo said...

Driving in Colorado and other western states can be so much fun! (As long as the car heater works and the exhaust pipe is clear).

David said...

After my fantasy trip with you to the Coliseum last month I hesitate to expect your stories to be true but the pictures tell the story. Wow.