Let me tell you how that East Coast storm (Pax? Can’t keep track of these stupid names!) affected us all the way in CO on Wednesday.
9am – Find out our friends’ (Fire Marshall Mac & Alex) flight from DC on Thurs is cancelled and they can’t get rescheduled until the 16th. Their visit is a bust. BOO HOO.
10am – Since we don’t have to hang out in Denver to pick our friends up from the airport, we head back to the cabin. Normally, it takes 2 hours. We also decide to take SILAdventure/Jamie & DocDoc/Rachel’s dog (Bailey) with us. She loves the cabin.
11:30am – Leave Denver, stop at grocery store
12:30pm – Stop for a XC ski on the Colorado Trail near Kenosha Pass
2pm – Make it over Kenosha Pass on 285. Yeah! We are halfway there and the sun is shining! Weather looking good!
2:30pm – Why are all these cars stopped on 285 up ahead? Wow, that wind is picking up. Where did the road go?
2:45pm – Oh, there is a tractor trailer on its side jackknifed across the road. Damn, we are only 25 miles from the cabin. I wonder how long it will be take to move the tractor trailer off the road. Boy, that wind is really blowing snow across the road. Is that a MedEVac helicopter landing? Yep… yikes this is bad.
2:48pm – The section of 285 we are on is officially closed. Shoot. Guess we’ll turn around and go almost all the way back to Denver to take the other road to the mountains (70). Wait a minute, is that a jackknifed tractor trailer across the road behind us??? It sure is. Hmmm … guess we’re not going anywhere for a bit.
3:10pm – Layers of rime ice form on our car from the blowing wet snow and cold temps. Tires freeze to the ground.
3:45pm – Tractor trailer behind us moves, people start turning around. We do too. Only 25 miles from the cabin, but have to backtrack 40+ miles to the other route. Par for the course in wild-weather mountains.
4:45pm – Wow, the roads are clear and the weather is dry as we head back to Denver. What a difference. Road conditions say 70 is pretty clear (according to CO standards).
6pm – 70 is NOT clear. Everyone else can go 60mph, but we’ll stick to our 40mph pace. Slow and steady wins the race.
7pm – Will we make it over Hoosier Pass at 11,500 feet? I think I can, I think I can …
7:30pm – We made it over Hoosier Pass!!! YAHOO! Only 9 miles to the cabin … boy that wind is wicked.
7:45pm – What is going on at our road? Is that a tow truck pulling someone out. Oh hell naw. That IS someone being pulled out because there’s about 2 feet of snow that blew onto the road and blocked it!! Let’s consider our options. 1 – Get a hotel (with dog in tow) 2 – Drive back to Denver (hell to the no) 3 – Go to our favorite local bar and beg for someone to let us stay at their house 4 – Camp. Wait, what, Mr. Tow Truck Tractor guy is offering to plow the beginning of our road so we can get through. Hell yes. (Sorry for all the hells; it seems fitting). Now Big Bird just needs to make it that final mile uphill on ice and blowing snow to the driveway.
8pm – Pull up to the cabin and kiss the ground that the cabin is still standing in the 55mph wind gusts.
EIGHT hours it took us from Denver. EIGHT hours. I would like to publicly thank my husband for his awesome winter driving skills in our AWD vehicle.
FYI, Bailey the dog never wants to go on an adventure with us again, that’s for sure.