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Friday, December 16, 2011

Driving in a Winter Wonderland

Desert near Tuba City, Arizona

Tree outside my room in Flagstaff, Arizona

Followed me home from Lubbock, Texas

There is normally not much snow in the Southwest in December and I needed to go to Durango, Colorado to get a part put on the 4WD Nissan. The part had been back ordered this summer but was now in making a great excuse for a photo trip. In addition, I had been looking at treardrop trailers to use on my Spring and Fall photo trips in Utah and Northern Arizona and found this guy in Lubbock who would build me one to my specs. The idea was to go to Durango then on to Lubbock to bring the trailer back before Winter gets here,
Unfortunately three storms were going through the Southwest. The plan was to give the second one time to get through and the roads to clear in the Flagstaff area then head to Durango. Maybe the third storm would not bring much snow and the rest of the trip would go fine. Less than a hundred miles from home, just beyond Kingman, the snow started and by the time I got to Monument Valley I was in a blizzard. Got into Durango late and was snowed in there for two days. OK, if you have to be snowed in, Durango is a good place to be.  All roads into Albuquerque, even interstate 40 from both directions, were closed. There was even ice and snow packed roads all the way to Lubbock. After 2,009 miles, all but a couple hundred in winter driving conditions, I made it home.
It really would have been a great photo trip if there was more time and places to pull off the road safely.  I did find this one spot in northern Arizona to get a view of the desert not normally seen.

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