Snow Storm – A Happy Ending

So…in case you were wondering, we did make it out of the mountains on Monday last week.  But not before we enjoyed dozens of quiet hours together by a warm crackling fire, watched all 10 episodes of the mini-series “The Pacific”, and had a chance to take some shots of the beautiful aftermath of the storm.  (Don’t forget to click to enlarge the pictures.)

I loved these icicles, especially against the blue sky!

Every once in a while I need to set up the tri-pod so that we can have proof that I was actually on our trips.

This is what it looked like after the snow plow came through to clear the long driveway.  Our car is buried under the snow there on the right.  We still had a little more digging out to do.

This was just crazy!  When we walked to the end of the driveway we found this SUV parked in the middle of the road right where we needed to drive to get out.  As we walked around trying to figure out why it might have been left there we noticed that the doors were unlocked and the keys were still in it.  AND we saw clear evidence that someone (presumably the driver) had taken a pee in the snow by the side of the road.  So….what would you guess was the scenario there?  We have no idea.  Fortunately, when it was time for us to leave the car was gone and we’re hoping that it was driven away by the owner.

This was a view from under a covered patio where the snow and ice from the roof was in the process of sliding off.  The ice was really thick, so it’s not a place that you would want to be when it finally landed.

I just love the contrast of the blue sky to the snow covered trees in this one.

I had some roses left from Valentine’s Day and Terry suggested that I take a few pictures of them in the snow.  This is one of my favorites.

Thanks for sharing the adventure with us.  We had an amazing time!

How do you feel about snow?  Do you love it?  Do you hate it?  Have you ever been snowed in?

Sequestered Again…

…but for much more wonderful reasons…

Cabin

On Thursday my husband and I came up to use a friend’s cabin in Forest Lakes, Arizona with another couple.  These first two photos are courtesy of my friend, Julie.

We enjoyed some deep conversation and one of our favorite card games of Nertz.

We have been playing Nertz with some of our best friends since the 70’s and love it! Funny thing, just as I was typing this I decided to look up Nertz rules so you could play the game yourself and I discovered that there’s a National Nertz Association AND that we’ve been playing it incorrectly all along.  Oh well, we’ve had so much fun and the difference is negligible.  We’ll have to try to play the “right” way the next time though.

It started snowing on Friday night just as Andy & Julie were leaving.  We went to bed with some light snowfall and by this morning it didn’t look safe enough to drive out.

We had other friends who were hoping to come up today, but the drive is too dangerous, so it’s just the two of us now.

Forest Lakes Picture Window

I’m sitting at the kitchen table looking out at this gorgeous view of the snow gently falling.  An instrumental version of “Christmas Time is Here” just started playing on the iPod (just like the version in A Charlie Brown Christmas).  Even though we’re well into February it feels appropriate somehow.  Snowfall always reminds me of the holidays.  Growing up in Ohio, we always dreamed of a white Christmas.  I continue to long for the confluence of snow and the winter holidays especially now that we live in Phoenix and have to travel to the mountains to enjoy it.

Today the snow fluctuates from a light dusting, to big fluffy flakes, then when the wind kicks up it starts to swirl between the trees.  At times it turns to a slushy rain, then back to snow.  Even though it’s after 2pm, the sky is dark and gray.  We’ve heard that this is just the beginning of the storm that’s supposed to last through tonight and well into tomorrow.  Worst case scenario is over 20 inches of snow in this storm, but because it seems to be wet (for now) it doesn’t seem to be accumulating as quickly as we’d expected.

We had a power outage this morning and for some reason the back up generator didn’t turn on.  We were ready to brave the storm and hit the roads, but while we were weighing our options, packing, etc. the power came back on, so we decided to stay where we’re safe and sound inside the warm, cozy house.

We’re in a neighborhood reached only by dirt roads and we talked to a neighbor who said that they almost slid into a ditch in their truck with snow tires this morning, so we’re not going to take a chance on the drive out and down the Mogollon Rim Highway.  Neither of us have driven much in the snow and our car doesn’t have snow tires or chains so we’ll settle in here.  We were planning to stay until Sunday anyway and we have plenty of food, even if we have to stay for an extra day or so to wait for the snow plows to come around.

Now all that’s left is to enjoy the quiet solitude with my sweetie, open a bottle of wine, light a fire in the fireplace and pray that the power stays on…oh, wait.  We might want to conserve that firewood just in case we do lose power again.Terry reading in Forest Lakes

Terry’s working on finishing the book, Atlas Shrugged.  1069 pages. He’s almost there.

Fortunately we have an ample supply of books, magazines, DVDs, blogs, photo projects and writing utensils so we aren’t lacking for things to do. In fact, it’s kind of nice to be forced to sit still for a while.  Might be fun to plan a snow trip like this every year…

Click to enlarge this pic to get a little bit of an idea of the snowfall.  It changes second by second and the photos really don’t do it justice.  It’s absolutely amazing!  I’m not sure I’ll ever get out of this spot.  It’s like watching a real life snow globe, only much more magical.

2011.02.19 Afternoon Snow

JYC – Snow! – Day 2

This year I’m participating once again in the “Journal Your Christmas” project for 2010 at www.shimelle.com.   I signed up for it last year and the cool thing about it is once you pay for the class, then you can participate for free every year afterward.

This is a class geared toward those who enjoy scrap booking, journaling and/or blogging.  “Shimelle” provides inspirational ideas for each day of the month and you may choose how you want to express yourself with the idea.  As you can see, since it’s December 2nd and this is my first post, I’m not firm about having to do the posts every day because I know how busy the month is.  My goal is to do more of these posts than last year and  I only did one or two in 2009, so the bar is pretty low.

The prompt for today was about taking pictures of the snow and since I live in Phoenix, Arizona and we may only get a light dusting of snow every decade or so, that’s not exactly possible right now.  What I will do is share a picture that I took in January when my husband and I traveled about 2 hours north to Flagstaff after a big snowstorm.  It was just gorgeous!

Thick Snow on a wooden fence

I am familiar with snow.  You see, I lived in Ohio for my first 16 years and I really love the glittery crystals.  It brings back so many memories of winters growing up.  I never had to drive in it so I’ve got a somewhat romantic view of snow.  Some of my most fond memories are…

  • Waking up on Christmas morning to a snow-covered world.  It was somehow more magical when it happened overnight at Christmas.
  • Learning about snow at school and going out to collect snowflakes with the class so we could look at them under a microscope.  Did you know that every snowflake really is different?  They are amazing works of art.
  • Waking up on a school day to lots of snow and listening to the radio to find out if the schools were going to be closed for the day.
  • When we learned that we had the day off it wasn’t long before we were out playing in it.  Building forts, making snowmen, snow angels, igloos and so much more.
  • Substituting socks for the lost mittens that should have been on our hands…sometimes adding a plastic bag over the sock to try to keep our hands dry.
  • Coming back into the house cold to the bone, stripping off all our clothes and switching them out for dry and warm ones.
  • Standing by the heater vent trying to warm up my cold red hands and feet.
  • Sitting inside the house enjoying the quiet of a snowy day.  It’s like having an extra layer of insulation all around the world.  Everything is just quieter somehow.
  • Walking down to the neighborhood outdoor ice rink where we’d skate all day.
  • Sledding on “Cardboard Hill” a few blocks from home.
  • Walking way out onto a frozen Lake Erie.

Oh how I wish I had pictures of some of those early escapades!  I really do love all the various seasons of the year and I appreciate them so much more now that I live in an area that has very little change.

How do you feel about snow?  Do you love it, hate it, or have never experienced it?

Snow Day – Flagstaff!!

Sometimes my heart just aches to experience the changing of the seasons.  After growing up on Ohio, with the full range of sights, sounds, and smells of the season, I just miss it so much that I need to get somewhere out of town.  I especially feel the tug in the Fall and Winter.  We get our own share of Summer and enough of a feel of Spring that I don’t miss that too much.

The last few weeks there have been so many reminders of snowy winter, especially last week with all the snow that they got in northern Arizona.  I started thinking about a road trip to Flagstaff probably on Thursday, but the storm continued thru Saturday which made it dangerous to drive up there before last Sunday. So that  morning we got up and decided to hit the road.

It was a perfect day!  The roads were totally clear, the traffic was light and the sun was shining as we headed up the mountain toward Flagstaff.  This was our first glimpse of the snow in the distance.

We drove thru Starbucks in Cottonwood on the way up and Terry picked up an apple fritter with his coffee.  He didn’t want me to take a picture of him eating it (he’s supposed to be watching his carbs, you know. But I think this is incriminating enough.

Next we started to see snow on the ground by the road…then we really got into snow country!  Look how heavily it was covering the trees.


Look at this gorgeous shot of the mountains coming up from the south of Flagstaff.

Not sure if you can tell (below), but we’re actually parked in the road.  The off and on ramps were plowed, but not the road that they lead to.  There was a 6 foot pile of snow in front of the car from the plow blocking the road, so if there was anyone living down there, they wouldn’t have any way to get out unless they had a snowmobile or something.

This is the sign that goes across the road. I’m not thinking that anyone’s going to get anywhere in that direction on something with wheels.

Here’s Terry starting up the hill.  You can see that it was thigh high in most places.  Fortunately it was pretty good packing snow and there were a few paths that were packed down enough that we could walk on them without sinking down too deeply.  There were a couple of times that I “fell in” and Terry had to pull me out so that my camera wouldn’t get in the snow (which happened once).  It’s so funny because there’s just no leverage to push yourself up, since your hands sink down in it too.

It had been so long since we’d been in the snow that we forgot to bring extra pairs of pants.  Fortunately, we didn’t get too wet and we did have dry socks, so we were o.k.

It was so sweet to hear the crunch of the snow under our feet!  I love the SOUND of Winter.

And look how amazing the trees were!

We watched showers of snow coming down from the branches very regularly.  Fortunately we weren’t beneath any of them.

Isn’t it cool that there were icicles hanging from the tree’s needles?

When we first got there, the only people around were a couple with their little boy.  I’d guess him to be around 5 and he was having a blast…so were his folks.

Then just before we left we were joined by a young family from Phoenix with 3 boys who had NEVER seen snow!  What an exciting day that must have been for them.  And the littlest one couldn’t have been more than 3 years old.  As they were trying to climb the hill he kept sitting down in the snow and his mom kept telling him to stand up.  Then the dad suggested that maybe he couldn’t stand up with all the clothes bundling him up.  He was SO adorable!  That’s him coming down the hill on the sled all by himself.

It brought back some great memories of our snowy adventures with the kids in years past.

After playing in the snow there for a bit, we started driving toward town then decided to head toward Lake Mary to see if we could get there.  Our prospects didn’t look good, but we stopped at the visitor center and had a chance to take a few more pics, of course…

SNOW DAY…

I just got a note from the person I’m supposed to be interviewing with tomorrow. Here’s what it says.

“I’m snowed in up on the Rim. It appears the storm is going to continue on through Monday night. Therefore, I want to re-schedule our Tuesday morning appointment. I’ll give you a call when I’m back in the valley.”

Sounds like a fun place to be! Needless to say, I’ll be patiently waiting for that phone call.

Snow on Lake Erie

This is a pic of a beach on the shores of Lake Erie very close to where I grew up in Vermilion, Ohio. We used to call this Tiki Beach. I have no idea why. My long-time friend, Scott took this recently when he went home to visit his dad. Scott grew up in a home overlooking the lake. How cool is that!

It’s so bizarre to think that folks back there are getting snowstorms when we hit 99 degrees this week in Phoenix! I’ve been wearing my summery capris and sandals all weekend and we actually turned on the air conditioner yesterday.

I often miss the seasons and yes, even the winter. I remember as a kid walking out on the frozen lake. It was awesome! Of course, I probably wouldn’t do much of that now, but would certainly enjoy looking out at it from beside a warm fireplace.

My First Blog Post

O.k. here we go… This is my first posting to my blog. I really have no idea how much I’ll be able to keep up on this, but it’s fun learning how to do it and seeing the results on the screen. As you’ll find out, I love photography and travel, so you’ll probably see many more photos from our adventures. Oh they’re not scary or daring adventures, but just new places to explore and experience and new people to meet.

These are from a trip that we took to northern Arizona in March. We had no expectations to see snow, especially in Sedona, but it snowed about 2 feet that weekend at the higher elevations and quite a bit in Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon. For those who don’t live in Arizona, you may not realize how unusual that is. It was so awesome!

Growing up in Ohio, I had seen quite a bit of crazy weather in my youth, but I think it’s been 10 years or more since I had seen the snow actually fall and to see so much of it in such an already gorgeous place was just incredible.


The last picture is of some of our most precious friends who made the trip with us. (Jay & Sharon and Andy & Julie) Some of them were a bit hesitant (to say the least) once we were traveling on the slick roads, but they braved it with our careful driver, Andy and came away unharmed.

It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time! The snow was so refreshing and beautiful. God’s creation is absolutely amazing and I love to see all the different ways that he treats us with these unexpected surprises.