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Wintertime Travels

Dev and I have attempted the trip to Pueblo, CO twice. The first time, we set out, full of hope, on a BEAUTIFUL Friday morning. There was not a single cloud in the sky (in the valley). We decided to take a scenic route to that lead through a little town called Salida, and wound its way over the Royal Gorge Bridge. As we got closer and closer to the mountain (we have to go over a mountain pass to go anywhere), we noticed snow blowing off the peaks of the other mountains in the area. We thought it was really cool looking....until the snow started blowing around on the mountain we were trying to cross. Soon, new snow was falling heavily. Well, I'm sure it is shocking to no one that I started getting very concerned. I could not even see the road for all the snow. It didn't even look like there was a road. After a while, we passed a snow plow coming from the other side of the mountain, so Dev turned around and we made our way back home. He says he did it because he knew I would be scared the whole way over the mountain, then I wouldn't enjoy Pueblo because I was afraid of having to drive back through all that crap to get home. I asked him if he would have continued if I hadn't been in the car. He would not answer the question. He refuses to admit that my razor sharp instincts kept us out of trouble that day.
Sooooooo....the next day (Saturday) we set out again. This time, we decided to take the most direct route...screw the sightseeing. So we jumped in the truck and headed for Pueblo. Again, not a cloud in the sky. As we prepared to head over a different mountain, we again noticed snow blowing off the peaks of neighboring mountains. Soon, there was so much snow blowing on the road that it was like a blizzard. There were several cars in front of us, but I couldn't even see the tail lights of the guy 6 feet directly in front of our truck. I think the top speed we achieved was 15 mph. After we got over the mountain, we got on I-25. About 5 miles down the road, traffic came to a complete stand still. No traffic coming in either direction. We sat on the interstate with the truck turned off for about an hour. We sat and theorized that it must be a wreck ahead. The roads were icy, but driveable. When we were finally able to move again, there was no sign of what had held us up. However- we did see at least 3 jack-knived tractor trailers on the median, and several cars over the side of the highway from earlier accidents.
A trip that should have taken an hour and a half had now taken us from 9:30am until 2:30pm. By the time we got to Pueblo, we were both starving.
We had lunch at a Texas Roadhouse and talked about our shopping strategy. We really needed to leave by 4 in order to get back over the mountain before it was dark and icy again. We decided to go to Home Depot, then Target. After that we would go home. Mother Nature had other plans for us....
After leaving Target, Dev called the Colorado Road Conditions number, only to find out that I-25 was now closed, blocking us from getting home. The roads back towards Salida would be just as bad or worse.
I spoke up and said that I'd rather stay the night in Pueblo than drive around on back roads we didn't know, sliding around in the ice. Plus- if we stayed the night, we could do the rest of the stuff on our list.
Dev agreed to the plan (although I don't think he wanted to stay overnight). I told him he should consider it a spa experience and yet another night of vacation. BTW- the Comfort Inn in downtown Pueblo is way better than the Super8 in downtown Clayton, NM. Although, it did have a funky smell. But that might have been the church youth group staying down the hall.
Bright and early the next morning, we set out for home. It took us about 3 hours, but we were able to make our way back over the mountain.
What lesson did we learn from this??? We learned that we aren't attempting to leave the valley again until May.


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