Quite a few posts ago I promised to tell you what made this past winter unusual for us. Normally we meander south, the turning colors of the leaves our trail markers, settling into southern California and southeastern Arizona for the deepest, darkest months of winter.
This past December, we didn’t things to be any different, spending our time in the warm sunshine of southern California, hiking, taking care of RV chores, and spying on birds like this male Hooded Merganser…
…and its mate:
Then we got the call — a Christmas present we hadn’t expected had arrived. We’d ordered a new Jeep; it wasn’t due until the spring. But it was ready and waiting for us at the dealer.
In Rapid City, South Dakota.
Ikes! We spend so much time avoiding all the hazards of winter travel, and now we were facing it anyway. Well, the good news was we didn’t have to take the RV. Bob watched the weather patterns the way an NFL coach watches films of the upcoming competition: where are their weaknesses? How can we get through their line? Except he was watching the lines of storms moving like opposing players across the map.
We saw our chance, a break in the weather, and took off (after packing too much stuff; that’s what happens when you’re used to carrying it all with you) on the second day of January.
We left on the heels of a major snowstorm that left several inches of snow at the higher elevations. By Flagstaff I was taking photos of snow as if I’d never seen it before in my life:
And we watched all manner of tourist come-ons, like this tall dinosaur in northeastern Arizona, pass by our windows:
We drove long hours, which meant the sun setting behind us gave us stunning views all around:
[Next time… our winter adventure continues!]