Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful

December 08, 2004

Click on images for larger pictures

The photo editing is done and now that it's time to write, I'm out of gas.

I guess that's what happens when you decide to incorporate a new design into your diary and then it doesn't work like you want it to. And then you spend a bunch of time that you really don't have just to find out that the site won't permit you to do what you wanted in the first place.


Three of us went to the airport last Sunday evening, and after I dropped Mrs and our luggage at the curb I went on to terminal #2 and send the boy back to school in Phoenix. Middle girl had already made it back to her campus and the house, after a very nice thanksgiving weekend, was empty.

Monday morning I woke and heard Mrs in the shower singing a Christmas tune, "Let it Snow."

Bad idea.

Really bad.

Really, Really, Bad Idea, especially in New Mexico and especially in Albuquerque.

Come on now, this is a town that gets 9 to 10 inches of snow a year, and you guessed it, they got 3 inches on Monday morning, and it all started just a couple of minutes after she started to sing.

All I can say is that I was one happy camper that the really nice guy at the rental place gave her something like 4 upgrades to a fullsized SUV late Sunday night. That car ended up in 4 wheel drive almost all of Monday.

After crawling along the freeway I dropped Mrs at her first meeting and then headed on off move all of the luggage into her apartment.

Unfortunately my route was uphill.

All uphill.

Traffic ground to a halt as everyone started spinning their wheels.

The north-south interstate closed.

Then the east-west interstate closed.

Then the town announced that all the schools would be let out early, I suppose so that more cars could come out and play on the ice.

But in the midst of it all, I found some color.

Later that morning I decided that perhaps the whole "Let it Snow" thing was a deliberate plot on the part of Mrs. It turned out that the cleaning woman who was supposed to get her apartment ready was unable to drive into town. Suddenly, Mrs found herself upgraded to a nicer 2 bedroom apartment in a closer complex that just happens to be only a mile or so away from our Realtor's office.

How'd she do that?

At any rate, our realtor met us after lunch and we headed on over in our SUV to the east mountain area. We saw a bunch of houses and ended up by the end of the day doing the 1 minute tour of some of the properties.

We found two houses that we like, and hopefully, if our property in Michigan sells anytime soon, I will be able to head on out to the southwest. The panoramas in the strip below were taken from the second floor balcony of one of the two houses that we like best.

One thing that happened on this trip was that the sun did come out on Monday afternoon, and as our realtor had told us back in October, the snow was off the streets by late afternoon.

Well, except for the east mountain area.

One thing we learned this trip was that yes, Albuquerque does get 9 to 10 inches of snow annually, at the airport.

But if you drive just a little bit east, say the 15 miles that it takes to get you to the east mountain turnoff - the annual snowfall increases to 40 inches. Then if you head on up the road to where the first panorama was taken, you pick up another 20 inches of snow a year.

The good news, if there is any with 60 inches of snow, is that the roads are generally snow free within a day or so, and there is generally not more than 2 inches on the ground at any time.

We discussed it and decided that yes, we can live with that, so if possible, we'll find ourselves on the snowy side of Albuquerque.

On Tuesday morning our realtor wanted us to look at a couple of houses on the far north west side of the mountain. The area, while not as green as the east mountain, was beautiful but not exactly our style. Most of the houses that we saw were more "southwest" and adobe for our liking.

But what we really wanted to do was get back and look at several more houses in the east mountain area.

Before us lay the road, and it was decision time.

If we went back the way we came, we had a 50 mile treck around to the back side of the mountain.

But if we went straight, it was less than 20 miles across the mountain.

Ok, so the road was dirt and snow covered.

But it would only be dirt half way.

Yes there was a lot of snow on the ground and there had been lots of snow the day before, and, the higher we went on the road we would probably run into deeper snow.

And the big sign?

Well, It didn't say we COULDN'T use the road. It just said that the road was closed.

It also said: Use at your own risk!

See, the word Use is in there.

Use means Use, right?

Besides, sooner or later a real live SUV should leave the road.

So we did, and we were glad. About 7 miles into the journey we finally broke out into the sunlight and got to see views that very few proably ever see, especially in the winter.

As I got out of the car to take the 3rd image in this series I promptly fell flat on my face and did a roll right there in the middle of the road.

I kept my composure however and made sure the camera never got near the road.

Down there, is where I hope to live.

Up here, there are bears and lots of other other critters to hang with.

More tomorrow.