Leaving North Ranch shortly after 6:30 am, only a few stray snow flakes danced in the headlight beams. A steady snow, occasionally heavy, was spreading southward. On the board, a scheduled appointment on the eastern plains of Colorado.
Having made this kind of drive, in this kind of weather, before, it can be challenging. Winter driving conditions can be poor across open land. A straight road with few grades and curves matter little. The highway, when closed, usually occurs when the conditions are past poor, and the likelihood of becoming stranded are high.
The last status board read, “Winter driving conditions. Poor visibility. Drive with care.”
into the storm: I-70 eastbound from Limon (9:15 am, Jan 28 2019)
Fog and snow blowing across the interstate added to the poor visibility. After a while, other cars and trucks become fewer in these type of conditions.
Driving home wasn’t so bad. The snow had ended in the early afternoon; the roads were clear.
Once home, a light fog was settling over North Ranch. For a change, it was Laurie and Andrea who kept a dinner plate warm for me.
After 2-3 weeks of spring weather, today was a reminder that winter is not quite over yet. Though we had wind-driven rain at the house and a dusting of snow, points northward to Denver and eastward into the plains were having a blizzard this morning. A certain project appointment, however, had to be kept regardless of the weather conditions.
heading into the plains: an icy SH 94 east of Colorado Springs, which closed 15 minutes later
While Deborah and Tara did some homework, Elizabeth made two chocolate pies. She had to make a pressing call, first, to Laurie at work, “where is the baking chocolate?” Of course, Elizabeth had first taste of her chocolate temptation.
Elizabeth’s first word: “tasty”
Not a bad afternoon treat.
“Thank you, princess.”
The drive, early Tuesday morning, was a challenge. Though the snow had relented, the wind and cold did not. The last status board, nearly 100 miles behind, warned of hazardous traveling conditions ahead. Yet, the highway remained open and continued travel was at your own risk.
Traffic is negligible on a rural state highway in these type of conditions. It is much less on a rural county road. Accordingly, your awareness of winter conditions is essential.
sunrise on a wintry, rural county road
In these kind of conditions, Eastern Colorado can be rather desolate and resemble a distant landscape much farther north. Except for the color provided by the sunrise, it was largely a black-and-white day with an occasional burst of snow flurries.
In the fading daylight and falling temperatures of late afternoon, the drive home was a bit slower with the icier conditions.
About the photo –
This was taken shortly after sunrise on Tuesday morning (Dec 30 2014) on a rural county road off of State Highway 94 in Eastern Colorado. When wintry conditions are present, the handful of other cars and trucks are largely absent from the road. It is quite rural and open country.
The icy road sign was a few miles back. The last status board, many, many more miles behind, wasn’t on. On a rural highway and traffic not seen for miles, awareness of the winter conditions is paramount. Farmhouses are few and far apart.
State Highway 94
Though the road surface did not appear so, it was very icy walking to the centerline amid the swirling snow. My turn onto a snow-covered dirt road was 10-12 miles ahead, in the whitened horizon. The wind, though not strong, made the bitter cold much more colder.
Driving back was slower, much more icier and colder.
About the photo –
This was taken before Wednesday noon (Feb 5 2014) on Colorado 94. The last truck I saw was about 45 minutes earlier. Not many cars or trucks are seen on this stretch, much fewer when wintry conditions are present. It is quite rural and open country, with very few dirt road turn-offs.
On a rural Colorado road, at sunrise …
Driving the rural roads, whether it be nice or wintry, is always a pleasant drive. Throw in a classic Gordon Lightfoot song, you’ll have an even better drive.
Several weeks ago, I teased blogging friend, Elisa, about standing in the middle of the road for a stunning photo. A couple weeks ago, I found a photo in my own library which was taken, standing in the middle of the road.
Off the highways, sunrise on a country road is one of the hidden gems of rural Colorado …
On this morning, in August 2011, my daughter Deborah and I were driving to a ranch to check out a horse. It was largely a quiet drive in the pre-dawn darkness. When the August sun began to rise above the horizon, Deborah mentioned how pretty and how bright it was, hoping the day would be as nice as the sunrise. With such a pretty scene unfolding, it was worth taking a few photos. And, yes, standing in the middle of the road was the best spot. Considering we hadn’t seen any traffic on this particular road, it was a fairly safe proposition.
Though in Eastern Colorado, this scene reminded Deborah of one her favorite George Strait songs, Amarillo By Morning … which she played a bunch of times that morning.