Fruita to Albuquerque

A significant snowy event is hitting Colorado and I needed to head south again to try to outrun it. There were signs everywhere telling people to be prepared for a winter weather event. The skies were clear and blue when I left Grand Junction, so it was hard to realize what was coming.

I headed south to go through the mountains around Ouray. I love this area but had never seen it in winter. I had forgotten how many little towns there are between Grand Junction and Ouray. The going was very slow. Just before we got to Ouray, I saw a park and headed in to see if I could let the dogs run. There was not much going on except one other car. I let the dogs out off-leash and the other car was letting their dog off-leash. While the three dogs played, I had a nice chat with the owner of the other rambunctious pup. The pup was about a month older than the collies. Every time the collies went too far, the gentleman and I would shout and the collies headed back at full speed. There was lots of ice, so heading back at full speed was treacherous. No one broke a leg and I got the dogs back in the car to head through the mountains.

I had forgotten how scary the road is through these mountains. When my brother and his wife brought our motorhome to Washington from Pensacola, Florida, I told them they had to go this route because it was so beautiful. As I was driving it today, I do not know why they are still speaking to me. OMG. Thankfully, the road was dry, but I still gripped the steering wheel so hard my hands hurt. It was a long drive through several mountain summits/passes and I began to hate the mountains toward the end.

Just south of Ouray. I stopped in the middle of the road to take this picture. There were no cars. The road it cut into the side of the mountain straight ahead and you can see the sheer drop off with no guard rails.

When we finally got to Durango, I wanted to grab a bite and let the dogs out. The place was extremely congested and every retail parking lot appeared to be full. I was wondering what was up with that in the middle of the week, when I noticed a sign about the upcoming bad weather. I wondered if everyone was out buying milk and toilet paper. I pulled into a fast-food drive through with four cars ahead of me. Since no car moved after 5 minutes, I turned around and left.

I did not get food until we hit Aztec, New Mexico. I felt so sorry for the dogs, I bought them both hamburgers which they quickly devoured. I walked them briefly, but we had to hit the road to beat the bad weather. About this time, the clouds started to roll in very quickly and they looked terrible. Regis told me Albuquerque should be fine, so I had to get out from under this as fast as possible.

I was on a road that went from 70 to 35 regularly. Between little towns, 70 was the speed limit. If you went through a town or passed something with a driveway, the speed limit dropped. It was excruciating. The weather continued to look worse. I saw the temperature starting to drop.

We finally got to an interstate and made progress south when raindrops occasionally fell. I wanted to find a dog park for the dogs to run but that was not likely to happen until I hit the city. If it was going to dump stuff on us, I wanted the dogs to be able to run first. As I was closing in on Albuquerque, I watched the mountain in front of me go from black to white. It was one of the more interesting things I have seen. By the time I got to Bernalillo, the stuff up in those clouds started falling on us and it was weird. There were lots of tiny sprinkles mixed with large splashes of slush that melted immediately after hitting the windshield.

It is hard to see the mountain ahead in this picture, but when I first looked at it, there was no snow on it. It got progressively whiter as we headed south.
This is the same mountain with all those clouds spitting rain. I tried to take pictures of what was hitting the windshield but they were not acceptable. In this picture, I was at the stop light. I hit every single stop light in Bernalillo and Albuequerque.

Once we got into Albuquerque, the precipitation stopped. When Regis told me Albuquerque was going to be fine, I did not realize it was fine once you hit the city limits. At this point, I was darn tired of driving and I am sure the dogs wanted to be released. I drove to the destination on my cell phone and the hotel was not there. I looked up the hotel and found it was 10 miles back. I passed it. I have no idea how this happened and it was particularly frustrating today because I was done.

When I got to the hotel, I asked if there was a local dog park. The gentleman at the desk directed me to one of few miles away. Long story short, it was a park where you could walk your dog. I started walking the dogs and Clover started jumping on Raven. They needed space.

I found another dog park not far away. It was large. It was the cleanest dog park I have ever seen. I let the dogs romp until after the sun set. They had a great time.

We are staying at a Drury and I had forgotten that Drury’s have happy hours with substantial eats. I thought the guy told me it started at 7. I went a few minutes after 7 and they were packing up. It ends at 7. They let me grab some food off the tray. Whew! I am glad I did not wait longer.

I was told there is a major windstorm coming this way and I should get going quickly tomorrow because I should not drive through it. Really? At least I have been fortunate in getting ahead of the weather, but my luck may run out.

2 Comments on “Fruita to Albuquerque

  1. Oh my gosh! This Trip is a nail bighter! Prayers for the safety of you and the dogs continue.


    • Sometimes I wish life was a little more boring. I had to travel over 200 miles out of my way to get past all this weather. We are good. The dogs are fine and so am I. We cannot wait to get to our home in Florida but have to pace our travels.


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