Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Journey Ends - Day Four

If you read the last post you'll recall that we were in Amarillo, TX and it was 60 degrees but they were calling for bad weather. When we awoke the next morning it was 24 degrees, the wind was blowing 40 MPH and it was snowing hard.

All I had taken into the motel was a hoodie. I took the first load of bags out to the car so I could get my coat, scarf, hat and gloves. I couldn't feel my fingers by the time I got back inside. We loaded the car and Doug went to check us out while I warmed the car up. That's when we realized that we had forgotten the ice scraper. The car was completely coated with about an 1/8th inch of ice. The defroster was slow to make any headway against the wind but finally it melted enough that I could get out and scrap the windows and clean off the wiper with my gloved hands.

I drove us to a gas station where we bought a scraper and filled up the tank. The wind was blowing so hard and the road was so icy that the car was being pushed sideways across the road. We went back to the Cracker Barrel beside the motel and ate a good hot breakfast and waited for it to let up some. It was supposed to end at noon. We left the restaurant and Doug drove a few miles up I40 where we decided to get off and reevaluate just how badly we wanted to get to Santa Fe that day. While we were setting in the parking lot of a Barnes and Nobel it stopped snowing. We decided try it again.snow
The roads were icy and the bridges were treacherous but we crept along at 40MPH. Gradually conditions improved and by the time we got to NM we were back up to 70MPH.
We passed another wind farm before we left Twind2exas and this one went on for miles. It was well off the road and I couldn't get a good photo but I could tell that the blades were turning - fast in the 40 mph winds. If you click on the photo at right and view the larger size you can make out the turbines against thskye cloudy sky.

Gradually the sun came out and the icy roads melted and dried. We headed into New Mexico in the bright sunshine.

We saw several wrecks including a few that had obviously rolled at least once. Most were trucks includingwreck this one. I just hope no one was injured in these accidents. One was an SUV loaded down with stuff just like we were. You can't see something like that and not think how lucky you are. We stopped in Tucumcari at McDonald's to get drinks and use the fatucumcaricilities because all the New Mexico rest areas were closed.

That's Tucumcari Mountain on the left. It was smooth sailing into Santa Fe and we pulled into Robin's at about 2:30 local (mountain) time. We were certainly glad to arrive safely after seeing so much carnage on the highway and now we can rest and enjoy our stay in this beautiful city. More about Santa Fe later.


Twisted Knitter said...

Oh my -- thank goodness you made it through what could have been an unsafe mess in Amarillo -- it was REALLY bad.

Audrey said...

I really miss NM and the incredible skyline at sunset every night. The pictures of the wind farms are the most interesting! Enjoy your holidays and have a safe trip back!

Margaret said...

How nerve-wracking! Glad you made it OK, and I'm with you always hoping folks in a wreck got through alright.