wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Giving Up – Part 5

There comes a point when, no matter how badly you want something, you know that it’s wiser to give it up. Going ahead with our trip to eastern Montana, after negotiating three snowy weather systems in two short weeks, would have been pushing our luck.

So with high winds and snow still coming down on the way forward, and snow settling on the road behind us, we reluctantly turned homeward.

The tires had sat frozen and immobile for two bitter cold nights, so we eased ahead a few feet and held our breath. So far, so good. We could have cried, turning back, but it was a relief not to drive into more snow blowing sideways.

I could have cropped this photo so the antenna wouldn’t show, but the icy snow on the forward side of the antenna says something about the chilly air.

Here is one of the many views of the Clark Fork (one of my favourite rivers). It is visible flowing beside or under the highway off and on for many miles.

On our drive eastward, little snow covered these lower elevations. Now it made for scenic winter postcard material. In some areas, the water was warmer than the air, resulting in fog along the river.

You can tell where the river goes.

Snow had covered these hills that were bare when we had driven through a few days earlier.

Some snow was still on the roads. As the day warmed up, big transport trucks lost clumps of ice that had collected on them. In the stretch of road below, the eastbound lane is closed and the westbound lane is taking two-way traffic. You don’t want to catch an edge or a clump of ice. The one in the photo below is one of hundreds of clumps we had to avoid.

I wondered what these cattle were “grazing” on. Not much grass poking out from the snow. Winter is hard on many animals.

As we neared the upcoming MacDonald Pass, my knuckles gave the snow some competition for whiteness. I knew I had a good driver beside me, but with so much construction and lanes restricted by cones and ice (and I don’t mean ice cream cones), I was nervous all the way to the top of the pass.

 

And relieved to be going down to a lower elevation right afterwards. Only two passes left to negotiate before we got home.

 

 


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From Sun to Ice and Fog

 

After a relaxing week doing fun things near Olympia, Washington, with my sister-in-law, I drove home yesterday. It has been as cold as -9 C. in Oly, and I was looking forward to the more temperate climate of Vancouver Island. The joke was on me though. Oly warmed up to +6 and Vancouver Island dropped below freezing and had a dump of snow.

My drive home along I-5 was on dry road surfaces and with partly sunny skies. A perfect day for the drive. The ferry ride to the island was calm too, and I felt very lucky to have had such a good day of travelling.

Almost home, with maybe an hour to go, the roads became wet, with ice at the edges. I usually ignore the frequent signs on the many bridges that say, “Bridge Ices,” but yesterday they scared me a bit, especially when I was in the passing lane next to an oversize load. I imagined myself sliding under the track of the skidder that was loaded on the flatbed truck, and sticking well out into my slippery lane.

The highway was blanketed by fog so thick I could barely make out the car in front of me. It’s a good thing I knew my way home because the “pea soup” was thick all the way to my house and down my driveway. I groped my way into my house and was welcomed by the captain and two lovely dogs, Ruby and Emma, who covered me with nuzzles and kisses. I think they were glad to see me. The captain was too, of course. To his credit, he had the house clean(ish) and the dishes done.

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Almost home, the hills just south of the Comox Valley. This is the morning after I came home. The fog is all down in the valley now, and no longer on the highway.