Sunday and Monday, November 23-24 (Days 34 and 35)
The drive from Grand Junction to Vail came with the possibility of some extreme driving conditions (well, extreme for South Texans), and the forecasts were right. Snow had fallen along the route, enough to dust the red-rock mesas with snow to look like huge slices of red velvet cake covered with confectioner’s sugar.
The fallen snow became much deeper as we drove east, and began falling heavily just west of Eagle County and Vail. By the time we arrived at Vail late on Sunday, a thick blanket covered the entire Streamside property, and we were happy to have arrived safely. Our home for the next several days provided just what we needed: a beautiful view of the landscape outside, and a fireplace to keep us warm since the temperatures outside hovered near 10 degrees!
Monday was a driving day to pick up Natalie and the girls in Denver. The drive over was intense, to say the least. A winter storm warning was in effect, and Vail and Loveland passes were snow and ice-packed. Large rigs with tire chains were driving very cautiously and the big snow plows did their best to clear I-70. I’d never driven in these conditions before—very heavy falling snow becoming foglike, at times. A wet, slushy covering over the sheet of ice topped the roadway—“We are not in Corpus Christi anymore,” I thought to myself. All were driving carefully and courteously, and just past Idaho Springs, the snow stopped and the clouds broke for a beautiful drive into Denver.
Of course, we had to turn around and drive back into it a couple of hours later, but this time with the girls excited about all they were seeing with the snow and mountains. It really looked like a Christmas card!
And so, here we are! We will settle in for these days of relaxation in the mountains of Colorado, and I will post to this blog twice more-- on Thanksgiving Day, and a final post for this trip on Friday. After that, we begin the long trek home after nearly seven weeks on the road. We have many stories to tell and very much to be thankful for.