The day dawned warm & clear, bursting with the promise of adventure.
Due to the Winter Storm Warnings we decided to bypass Sand Dunes and Wolf Creek Pass, and take the longer (540 mile) route to Mesa Verde National Park.
Here is our route for today.
We left at 0700 local time and drove about 250miles west on I40 to Albuquerque, NM
then took US550 NW about the same distance to Durango, Colorado where we picked up US 160 West 40 mi to Mesa Verde.
It was the last 40 miles where things got interesting.
Yesterday we visited Palo Duro Canyon and the temp hit 96 degrees. The dry heat however felt fine.
Our Palo Duro Self Portrait
Today however was a lesson in contrasts.
Heading west out of Durango we climbed a small pass to about 8,000 ' and ran into a bit of weather
Hummm.... I wonder how far west this stuff is going to last??
Mesa Verde is located on top of a large tall Mesa.
Getting into the park requires one to climb up on a fairly steep road with numerous bends & curves along the edge of the mesa.
On the way towards the park we hoped that the weather would improve but the dark clouds ahead foretold a different plan for us.
As we started to climb onto the Mesa the rain changed to snow and increased in intensity. Soon we were driving on some slick roadway and the back end started to slip and we started to lose our speed.
Now if it was just the truck it wouldn't have been as much problem but the 10,000 lbs of mobile office behind me it made it all the trickier. Fortunately the truck is 4WD and a quick shift of the selector switch stopped all the sliding and we were able to accelerate and get up the hill.
At the top - I had to go into the camp store to register. It was 32 degrees, snowing pretty heavy, and I'm wearing shorts and a T-shirt. Now where did I put that flannel shirt in the back??
So... here we are. Sitting in the clouds, its snowing and we have the heat on.
We made a big pot of coffee, Kate made some meatball sandwiches for dinner and we are watching Little house on the Prairie on Satellite TV. In spite of the weather we are rather snug and cozy.
The forecast for tomorrow is a little better and Saturday a little better than tomorrow.
Tonight 30 degrees - tomorrow 50 and Sat 60. I hope the fog clears a bit. This is a beautiful and special place and I would hate for Kate not to get the full monty.
The irony is that when we were in Switzerland, it rained the whole time and we didn't get to see the snow capped peaks.... Today driving into Durango was the same deal. I've driven that road before and it is beautiful....... not today.
Oh Well.... As Scarlett said: "Tomorrow's another day"