We've been on the lam!
The bottom picture of the La Platas from near Red Mesa will perhaps show you why we were leaving town when the picture was taken.
As we were driving to Meeting in Duarango on Sunday morning ... driving through the slush of yet another snowfall this winter, I asked Sandy if she was ready to go south? She was!
So, Sandy and Scooby Doo and Tom headed south on Monday morning. Reasoning that we could get to lower elevations faster through New Mexico, we went through Albuquerque to Truth or Consequences, NM. And, of course, it was bitter cold and windy and there was what my Dad used to call "sheep turd snow" in T or C that night!
We did have a few minutes Monday evening to tour T or C ... colorful, kinda quaint, not doin' so good economically. Nice steak house and Denny's, but not too attractive as a winter hidey-hole or relocation location.
Tuesday we set off for Silver City. Never been there before, but have heard a bit about it from Friends who live there.
Stopped for a while in Hillsboro, NM. Cute little town that goes back to the 1870s or before. Population of 162, and it is small town to the core. Everyone obviously knows everyone, there's one little coffee shop/cafe kitty-corners up the street from the post office.
Anyway, onward and upward ... into snow! There was probably about 4 inches of snow on Emory Pass, plus some pretty icy spots on the road. Over the pass and through the trees, past some very nice USFS campsites buried in snow, on past the open-pit copper mines and outlying settlements and into Silver City.
Interesting town. It's about the size of Cortez, with a 4-year public university (Western New Mexico U.) and a regional medical center, plus a vibrant art gallery section of town. We enjoyed walking around the downtown area for a while, ate lunch and visited the galleries, where we found a few expatriate Badgers (Wisconsinites). Several people in the galleries commented on the friendliness and accepting nature of the town, while also apologizing for the unusually cold winter day.
The guys sunning themselves outside the west wall of the Yankie Creek Coffee House provided context for the locals' term "unusually cold." Nobody is catching the sun outside the Absolute Bakery in Mancos, nor will they be for more than a month!
Well, it started running late and we had to get out of Billy the Kid's old stomping grounds and get on to Tucson.
On this trip, we tried out the TomTom GPS device Sandy's son Bob gave us for Christmas. It takes some getting used to, and you have to think like the GPS programmers do, but it was very helpful. It bypassed a couple of more direct routes to fishhook us around an air base on the way to my brother-in-law's place, but I was impressed at how it (eventually) adapted when I detoured from the prescribed route. Best of all for this country boy, it helps me be in the right lane ahead of course changes in the city!
We had a good evening with Bill and Sherrie, with the added treat of having supper with newly-arrived-in-Tucson Michael, Beth, Jessica and Abby, Bill's son and his family.
Alas, we had to turn northward again. We looked at several places in Chandler, AZ, as possible winter hidey-holes. The one shown, with palm trees and lake, was quite large and we looked at several units there. The Phoenix area inflated hugely during the housing boom, and now the consequences are being felt. The temperature was in the 60s.
Along with thousands of others, we headed out of town in the last afternoon, reaching Globe before we tucked it in. Frankly, we were amazed at the prices for rooms in some of the chain motels in the Globe area. The idea of paying more than $100 for a room at an EconoLodge in Globe, AZ, didn't appeal to us; we went to Motel 6. Over $100 a night in GLOBE?
That decision gave us a chance to go through the Salt River Canyon by mid-morning and that was as beautiful as always. The top picture was taken from the north side, looking west (down-river).
We got home before 5 p.m. There was a flurry of snow north of Gallup, but no snow on the ground till we got back into Montezuma County, just south of Towaoc.
This morning, it was 8 degrees at dawn. We're back in Mancos! tv