Friday, February 15, 2008

Winter Wonderland

After Amaya's photo shoot on Thursday, Scott and I drove to the White Mountains for a quick Valentine's/ski getaway. Amaya got to stay behind and enjoy some quality time with Grandma Cindy. The White Mountains are only about 3 and 1/2 hours from Chandler, yet the climate is totally different. We drove from a sunny, upper 60's type day to a winter wonderland. We were excited because we were suppose to be hitting the weater "just right." It had been 4o's and sometimes reaching 50 degrees in the days leading up to Valentine's Day. Then the high for both the 14th and 15th, the days we were going to be there, was suppose to be mid-30's. Perfection. And already Saturday the highs were forcasted to get back to the upper 40's and then soon after into the next week 50's again. Plus, it was suppose to snow 3-6 inches on Thursday. As I said before, perfection. 3-6 inches of fresh snow on a 100 inch base. Not too shabby. But...the winter storm was "delayed" and hit Friday instead, which was actually tons of the beginning. We started off the day skiing in wonderful powder. We couldn't even see our skis. It was light and fluffy and oh so fun to ski in. There were even times when the powder was up to our knees. The idea of falling in this stuff sounded kind of fun, but then we thought of trying to find our skis in all the powder, and we decided it was best to not be too aggressive with the skiing. But, in continued to snow and snow...and the snow got heavier and heavier...and the visibility got worse and worse. By about 1:30 p.m., the snow was deep and we couldn't see very far in front of us. That was kind of a weird feeling as you're cruising down a mountainside. I kind of like to see where I am going and what lies ahead. Call me crazy. I have a daughter to think about now. So, we skiied a few more runs, then decided it was best if we call it a day. We didn't want to risk get stranded on the mountain. We missed Amaya and wanted to be able to get home to her that night. So, we packed up and headed for home, but not before the child in me broke out for a few minutes. I couldn't resist the hill leading from the ski chalet to the parking lot. It was covered in 1-2 feet of fluffy snow. I dropped to the ground and rolled my way down. Too fun! I had to do that a few times, before ending with a snow angel, brushing myself off and climbing into the car. Scott was enjoying a chuckle as I climbed in. I think he enjoyed my "snow show" more than I did. Nah, it was pretty fun. So now we were ready to hit the road, only we couldn't find the road. All we could see was white, white, white. But then we saw headlights, so we were able to find the road and make our way towards the highway. Upon turning onto the highway, we lucked out. A snowplow had just passed by going in our direction, so we were able to follow him for about the first 30 miles, which was very helpful. By the time he turned off, we had come down enough in elevation that the snow was lighter and the visibility was better. The White Mountains in AZ are higher than one would think. The highest peak where we were skiing was 11,100 feet and the base was around 9,800 feet or so. So we were quite a ways up. So, anyway, when we got to Payson, we stopped for gas, and since we were still in our ski attire, the gas station lady asked if we had been up at Sunrise today. When I told her, yes, we just drove down, she told me that the highway up there is now closed. So, obviously we made it out just before the closure. We lucked out. We heard on the news that night that highway 260 was closed for several hours, and so much for that 3-6 inches. The storm ended up dropping a total of 18 inches. Crazy. It was a fun journey, though. Even though our skiing was cut short. It was so fun experiencing a hearty winter storm. The only thing that could've made it better is if Amaya was along. Then we could've stayed and enjoyed more of the storm. It would've been great to curl up in front of a fire by a big picture window with a cup of hot cocoa the rest of the afternoon and watch the storm. Then take Amaya out to play in the snow on Saturday. Next year! Smile, smile. Any which way, all the snow hit the spot for a midwestern girl transplanted to AZ. With such a wonderful winter playground so close to Phoenix, maybe Scott could convince me to stay forever. Maybe we can have the best of both worlds. We'll see. I neglected to bring my camera, but check out this link for photos of the snow storm at Sunrise sent in to our local ABC news affiliate from viewers.

1 comment:

Riecke's said...

Sounds like a great time. I am glad you and Scott find time away for yourselves. Maybe someday Bill and I will do that.... lets see, when does Will turn 18? hee hee. maybe next playdate we can do the zoo! So we'll look at schedules and get ready!!!!!