Monday, February 22, 2010

But it was supposed to be a desert vacation

Tom's under the weather, so we are just heading home instead of stopping to visit more. Speaking of weather: I should have checked it before we ventured out today. Had I done so, we would have gone south and taken I-10 rather than 40.
We hit snow about 1/2 hour after leaving Albuquerque. Snow which got progressively worse. I stopped for gas about an hour into the trip and we debated turning around. But I didn't want to chicken out, so forged on. As it turns out, we could have doubled back and not lost time. The traffic on the freeway was going about 20 mph, following semis breaking through and making ruts for the rest of us.

We had to pull off an exit one time and clean the ice off the windshield and wipers. Then we (and most everybody else) pulled off at a Pilot truck stop (above). That gave us a chance to pick up some de-icer.

Tom drove from the Pilot though Gallup, to Holbrook, Arizona. I snapped this picture just past the truck stop. We had seen a couple of other accidents (one an upside-down suv in the median) before the stop.  Since I was driving, I couldn't get those shots.

I took over the wheel again in Holbrook for the remainder of the drive. Climbing up from Winslow to Flagstaff things got interesting again.  Above picture was taken while getting gas in Flagstaff.  The next two were taken going down the hill after Flag.  Note blowing snow.
Note also the "Closed" sign on the rest area.  Every one of the rest areas on I-40 in Arizona was closed.  Come to think of it almost every rest area on any road in Arizona was closed.  And the Arizona roads are in horrible shape.  Tom says it's because all of the funds set aside for roads have been spent on buidling roads to new subdivisions in Phoenix which are either empty or full of unsold houses.
Out of the snow and back in California, we are in Barstow tonight.  Another 12 hours of driving tomorrow (fingers crossed) to get home.  In all we lost 2.5 hours of travel time today due to the weather.