12. January 2016 · Comments Off on Overnight Sensation · Categories: Places · Tags: ,
21. February 2013 · Comments Off on Afterglow · Categories: Places · Tags: ,

Snow fell through the night: A wonderland in the morning, with little animations as the sun rose, clumps fell from branches which popped up randomly during my morning walk. Lovely and quiet morning to be out there, No other human tracks, lots of animal biz going on, the Arizona Trail untracked and almost hidden, the way good trails often are.

20. February 2013 · Comments Off on Whiteout · Categories: Places · Tags: , ,

Won’t last long at 45 degrees, but lovely to behold while it does.

09. February 2013 · Comments Off on Actual Miles · Categories: Places · Tags: , , ,

So I left sunny sordid Orlando on a new Southwest plane and dropped in on an ice storm in Baltimore. Slipped on the old merino and pertex layers near the outer doors at BWI, then taxied/flew-low out to a truck depot in Halethorpe with a driver who knew only speed and danger and who spoke briefly about how trucking doesn’t pay. Disdainful disregard of regulations, traffic lines, shoulders, although stop lights did briefly impress. We went like a demonic cruise missile, fueled by the time/money reaction. I didn’t even belt up, used to drive like that every day in NYC, knew he wouldn’t hit anything, would’ve hurt him more than an accident to do so.

The truck’s box leaked in the front corner, not many one-ways left, so drove it into south Baltimore to another gritty depot to trade. That one shook when it finally started, lurching side to side violently. The new trainee who checked me out assured me it would “smooth out once it warmed up”. It sounded like a rock crusher with indigestion. The bed featured oil spots, a layer of dirt and scattered tiny machine parts, but was otherwise dry. I took it; 26 feet of space to put my past in.

Went right up through Baltimore just before rush hour, then hit I-83 and started really growling. The truck started making new odd noises. While negotiating the Baltimore bypass and then back on to I-83 I called roadside assistance and they found a wrench that would look at it, north of York, open until midnight. If I made it.

Stopped at Wegman’s for road supplies: fruit, energy bars, case of San Pel and regular water to store under the bench seat beside the emergency reflector and flare kit. Got to the truck garage after dark, guy that took it for a test drive with me said it was fine, better than most of them, probably had been some bad fuel…what were all those noises? He described the multiplicity of pumps on the truck and some of the foibles in the design leading to the clamor I was hearing, then asked, “Why do you think we call them Inter-trash-ionals?”

Next morning was a total fluke, a sunny warm day after a long bitter spell. I was counting on it, and for once the weather forecasters were right. I know those northeast weather idylls well enough to know they couldn’t have been wrong. I drove down to my longtime storage room and started the many trips up the ramp I would do that day. Almost dark when I closed the door for the last time, to an empty swept room which had been my stowage for years of vagabond railroading. Friends took me in for the night, in a safe neighborhood in York.

Next: On the map was this enormous weather front, swathing the entire set of choices for heading west. My brother convinced me that hitting it head-on by going due west might make more sense than paralleling it down 81. We’re a family that likes to talk weather anyway. I hit it mostly through Western PA and Ohio, then it got fierce with wind and cold and that gossamer snow that makes any winter-experienced person shiver reflexively just looking at it. There was second front behind the first, colder and less snowy.  The truck was settling in, but gulping diesel as it fought the headwind.

I left from Indiana a bit late, it was 6 degrees out and the truck took 45 minutes to respond with a begrudging idle. I took old favorite roads rather than the ones that a mapping service would suggest, some 2-lane trucker routes, more relaxing that way, but I did end up sweeping through KC just before rush hour on a Friday night on I-35.

All the travel henceforth had been under cloud cover of some kind. Below KC, not quite to Emporia, I saw the southwest edge of the massive front I’d been fighting and dug out my camera to commemorate as I headed down I-35. Next morning I was out of the parking lot before sunup, so the cloud-free shot was taken after a few dozen miles along US 54.

Somewhere in there, knowing I was going all the way that day, I started thinking of Dave Dudley’s paean to journey-versus-destination, “Six Days On the Road“. I also thought about BR 549’s “18 Wheels and a Crowbar” a few times when dealing with cars, but I didn’t have enough wheels. Anyway, 16 hours after waking up in Kansas, I backed in the drive and unlocked my front door.

A heartfelt thank you to all who aided and abetted my journey and travails, and an open door awaits if you get out this way. The snow here should be gone by then.

 

20. April 2009 · Comments Off on This Time For Sure · Categories: Places · Tags: , ,

So we had a relapse, pretty usual in New Mexico for both the weather and –now more understandably– the residents. We went from sunny and 60’s during the early week to blizzard on Friday morning. Even snowed down in Albuquerque. I pulled in late that night and the branches were loaded, prompting old memories of losing power when the snow was heavy like that. Fortunately the clocks were correct and the pellet stove still humming in the morning when the sun woke me up.

We had a big melt and drip on Saturday and Sunday, and warmer temps are predicted. The storm prompted stories of previous late spring snowstorms everywhere I went. Twain was correct, but I think people talk about the weather because they can’t do anything about it.

Here are some photos from the morning after…

09. December 2008 · Comments Off on Snow Falling On the Cedars · Categories: Places · Tags:

28. November 2008 · Comments Off on Snow · Categories: Places · Tags: ,

It snowed here on Thanksgiving Day, and it was my first experience with a snow thunderstorm. The flashes and cracks close by were a reminder of the vulnerability that comes with living at high altitude. What’s “missing” in this photo are the Sandia Mountains, whited-out by a combination of snowfall and cloud-fog.

snowy driveway

Found some small things to photograph on my hike today, new photos in the Cibola Photo Album

Here’s one of them…

lichen on rock