Sunday, December 31, 2006

ABQ N.M. Storm of record Snowfall

This last week of December 2006 snowfall, set a record in New Mexico (for as long as records are kept). The two storms came through together and parked over the city of Albuquerque for two days. This amount of snow happens only at times, so we have no Great Fleet of snowplows standing ready to do battle.
The few plows in service are sent to the two Interstate routes of I-25 (north south) and I-40 (east west). ABQ is in a depression west of the mountains, called the Rio Grande Valley.
The Sandia Mountains are the Northeast edge of the city and the Manzano Mountains are the Southeast edge. I-40 comes in from the east through Tjeras Canyon between the two, Southern Rockies mountain ranges. Tjeras Canyon forms a sort of hilly pass that gets a lot of snow at times.

Our Westbound friends from Antioch Illinois, A retired Illinois Highway Patrol Officer and his wife, were stopped in Amarillo Texas, waiting for the highway to be re-opened to ABQ. They were in a 40 foot 'Prevost' motor home, so no major inconvenience. The Kohl's dept. store was nearby to keep them entertained. They started out again last night when the I-40 hwy opened, only to be shut down again until this afternoon. The plows have no tall guide sticks along the highway, like the far northern states. The Plows wandered off the highway at times making a trail through the 'boonies'. Needless to say problems developed when trucks attempted to follow the plowed path. More good stories to tell the kids.

The stories being told in the truck stops are really great 'fairy tales' about drivers dieing in their trucks with the National Guard hauling them away in 'body bags'. Chuck mentioned that their drugs must be working well.
If you are going to weather a storm out on the open highways of New Mexico, do it in a 40 foot 'Prevost'. See you in the spring on the return trip from Phoenix, Chuck and Joan.
I will bet their story is told and retold for years, adventures like that are to be shared and savored. The East west traffic is due to there being only three 'major' Continental East West routes through the 'Rocky Mountains'. The southern route is I-10 through El Paso Texas. ABQ N.M. is the Central and Denver Colorado I-80 is for the most part, the Northern major route. Snow gets that one a lot. Much further North is real snow country, pretty much avoided in the winter months.

Our home is at the 6500 foot level in the lower foothills and received about 16 inches total, of 'heavy' snow over the two days. A mile north of our home was recorded at 24 inches. I shoveled as it fell. Big snowpiles are my driveway border. This is better than going to the Gym to workout.
My two mile walk before dawn was again 'Mystical', crunching through the snow with the soft pink overhead glow and the silence of no traffic.

Most neighbors are counting on the typical sunshine days (355 a year) to follow, melting it away. No newspapers or mail have been delivered since Thursday.
Today is Sunday. Wife and I had to just check it out and go out to breakfast on Saturday morning. The 4X4 Jeep does a pretty good job when locked in 4-Low. No major problem other than stopping. Think ahead is always the flight plan, no matter what the conditions. Neighborhood kids were riding snowboards behind a Jeep driven by a Father. Those kids will tell their own kids, years from now, "When I was a kid, the snow got"....

Santa Fe N.M. was the recipient of over two feet. Their mountains probably got around three feet. This last two years are finally breaking our extended drought of ten years. The last snow of this magnitude was in the 70's and early 80's. Those were our family's ski years. Like my neighbor said, as we were shoveling, "It all works out". Truly it does. My thoughts on 'Global Warming' exactly. (a December post). Look at the real long record, not just the recent happenings. Thousands of years, Tens of thousands, Hundreds of thousands, as my neighbor indicated, is true, "It All Works Out". Happy New Year Ya'All!


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