14 March 2010

The Man Who Second-Guessed Himself.

Remember last month when T-Rob and I drove to Flagstaff, AZ and I told you of having to drive through a blizzard in the Gallup, NM to Grants, NM corridor?

Well listen good friends as I tell you the tale of The Man Who Second Guessed Himself.

See, in Albuquerque, when the weather dude tells you there is a 30% percent chance of snow, it really means there is a 70% chance IT WON'T!! Canyon winds drive down the snow potential considerably.

However; in the Gallup/Grants area, if there is even a one percent chance of it snowing it means BLIZZARD!!

I jest of course but not much.

The Gallup to Grants stretch of highway around Mt Taylor is notorious for its really bad snowstorms as I found out first hand last month.

So this weekend I took an extra day off from work to take my dad and sister to see family in Winslow, AZ and that takes us right along I-40 through the Gallup/Grants/Mt. Taylor corridor.

The weather dude forecast snow Sunday evening into Monday morning and then sunny by Monday afternoon into Tuesday.

I thought 'that's cool', I'm sure it will be clear by the time we leave on Monday mid-day.

Well...my dad had other plans.

Pop use to be the adventurous type. I remember as a kid our family was always going someplace on the weekend. He is not in to that now. He is most happy at home in his rocker with the heater set to 210 degrees!!

By Sunday morning my dad was ready to go home and he will complain until he gets his way. So I said 'okay, lets GO!' Arrrrrgh!!!

I had so wanted to drive to the Homolovi Ruins or Walnut Canyon on this trip.

That morning after breakfast we headed back home.

The sky got darker as he approached the Arizona/New Mexico border.

No sooner had we passed the border and approached the Gallup area, we drove right into a snow storm.

I should have listened to my inner voice and not left until Monday, but it was too late now.

It started as rain, turned to hail and then snow. It was already starting to slush up on the road. My stomach churned.

Luckily, this storm was not as bad as the one I drove through last month AND it was during the day!!

Sadly, there were multiple accidents. Being that I was the one driving I was not able to take pictures -- maybe that is a good thing.

I did capture a few shots, like this one of a semi that slid off the road.

The front cab was demolished, almost sheared off, I'm sad to say. It was a horrible accident. West bound traffic was backed up for miles.

About 20 minutes down the road we saw a Fed Ex semi tipped over like it was road kill. The trailer was already gone so this accident must have happened earlier as it was only 24 hours earlier we were on this same stretch of road and it was not there.

I would learn later on the news that night that an Albuquerque school teacher lost his life in an accident on this same stretch of road when his car skidded and flipped.

I'm glad to say we made it home safe.

Listen to your gut instinct. It's usually right.

I'm out.

*A side note. I was hoping to visit the Homolovi Ruins while on this trip, but as we drove by the sign for it there was a big CLOSED sign attached to it. Apparently there was a $8.6 million shortfall for state parks in AZ and 13 of 22 of them have or will be closed by June 2010.

Very sad.


K-Mo said...

I'm glad you made it safely! On a travel note: are you expecting to be around ALB in early to mid August? I'm going to be driving from here to Grand Junction, Colorado, and thought maybe I'd visit you on the way and (maybe) crash on your floor or something. Don't have exact dates yet.

Bear Me Out said...

Glad you made it safely! Snow around here is what gets called "greasy snow." Wet, slushy, and VERY slippery. Just a little bit and we shut down. Of course, not many years do we get much to worry about. THIS year, we have lots, and lots, and more.

Spring! where art thou?