My alternate title was Adventures in SnowLand, or something along those lines, but the other was a little more appropriate….
Today was a no plan day, as most of our days are, but with the snow on the ground we aren’t able to do our “job” of trail clearing so we decided to do nothing today. We had no agenda, except to make a few copies and then drop them in the mailbox at the park entrance, and on the way to the mailbox we’ll stop and check out a short trail we discovered the other day…That was the “plan”, then it was well, we might as well just go to the Post Office in town, we could use a few groceries, too. Ok, so we headed into town, it’s nice to get out of the park at least once a week anyway. While in town we got gas (@ $3.94/gal….holy crap, it went up $0.30 in a week!!! Glad we weren’t filling the RV……..) then stopped in for a cup of coffee at the local cafe and spent awhile listening to local gossip and reading the paper, then off to our intended destinations. After mail was mailed and groceries were loaded we started to head home, but as always we decided to check out one of the country roads we hadn’t explored yet, pretty normal for us, nothing really perishable so no real hurry to get back. At the end of the day, it’s a great road with many other side roads to explore…but when the roads are dry and there’s no snow to be seen, anywhere.
We started down a normal, paved country road that eventually turned into gravel, fine with us, gravel roads are our preference. Then we got into the snow zone, again, not a big deal, I love a driving challenge. The road we were on was well used by logging trucks and the locals in their big diesel 4x4s, so even though it hadn’t been plowed it was slushy but passable and only a tad slick going up hill and around corners (with no guard rails and steep drop-offs…of course). But, my car made it with no problem. Slow and steady… We took a left down a somewhat familiar road and dropped out of the snow zone and headed back toward the main highway to home (after stopping to kludge a piece of the plastic brush guard that had been pulled down by the snow and ice that had been scraping the bottom of my car for the last 10 miles) . That was until we decided that we had an hour of daylight left, we could check out this other road that we’d been talking about, cool!
It was an awesome road, also gravel but it had been plowed, we’re guessing for the school buses. So we followed it for a few miles and plotted a course home over the mountain and through the woods back to the highway, and we almost made it… The plow stopped about 1/2 mile from the left turn we need to take to get to the highway. That’s ok, someone had driven it ahead of us and we made it up the hill to the intersection, a right turn could take us deeper into the mountains, a left would take us home, hmm, if it weren’t for the 2 feet of un-plowed snow on the road to the right we would have taken that, instead we opted to head toward home, the road was also un-plowed but looked like it had been driven, so, what the heck, keep moving, don’t want to turn around. It was pretty slick trying to get up the little hill and into the turn but we finally got there, only to be stopped again but the foot of snow we couldn’t see before…crap. If I had about 4 more inches of clearance on my car we would have kept going, but I don’t, so we didn’t. We decided to turn around and go back the way we came, if only the plow had made a 2 lane pass instead of just one, crap, no room to turn around. Hey, there’s the snow shovel we forgot to drop off in the backseat-sweet! So, Dave shoveled out an area to back the car up into. Then we went over how to back up and turn so that the car wouldn’t slide into the big bank of snow and get really stuck. So, I gave Dave the privilege of doing the turn around (because I thought I’d get us stuck) and he put it in reverse, started to move and…slid into the snow bank…crap. So, I mentioned (not for the first time) that I had chains, they only took a couple minutes to put on, and he finally gave in. So, I got out the chains, put one on and laid the other under the tire in the bank. It was super easy after that. Dave got the car turned around and we headed home. We were prepared though, we had blankets and lots of fresh groceries and water in the car, just in case.
Ok, enough of my storybook, onto pictures. (BTW, this is why I usually type on my Kindle, it takes a lot longer to write anything and I’m forced to keep it short, not so on my laptop…)
This is where we stopped…further down that road it looks like the left side of the picture…also, notice the Arizona plates? We thought that would look great on the front page of the local newspaper if we really got stuck and needed real help…”Arizona couple in a sedan stuck in the mountains, 2 miles from highway, forced to eat own dog, chains still in the trunk”…btw, now we know why the majority of the locals drive big, burly, diesel 4x4s with extra fuel in the bed and a winch on both bumpers, they’re the ones who turn right…
~~Dave already posted a lot of pictures and I don’t want to do doubles, so I’ll put up some from earlier in the day.~~