With the thoughts of getting out of the snow and cold in a few days, we load the camper on the truck and head out with travel and weather advisories on February 28th. The roads and weather were fine for the few hours down the highway to Grande Prairie. We were hoping to stay ahead of the snow, but stayed and watched the grandbabies at gymnastics the next morning, had lunch, and headed out for Olds Alberta. The highway was good most of the way, but getting on the four lane, heading south to Olds proved the weather had caught us. Some people just don’t slow down….seems the highway signs say 110 km/hr, so that’s what some want to do. We came upon several multi vehicle incidents, which was apparent by the vehicles lined up along the highway with dents, bumpers falling off, and many others in the ditch. With the number of people wandering around a couple of these sites, I’m thinking we were lucky enough to have avoided the chaos. We got lucky at one point… I was busy looking at road reports etc. on my phone, and looked up to see brake lights on a vehicle just in front of us and maybe a little too loudly said ” Brake Lights”, Gus was able to get stopped in time! We made it into Olds, and found a hotel room for the night. Things would have been just too cold yet to stay in the camper!
The next morning, the 2nd, looked much like it did the night before, headed back out onto the freeway to tackle the trip through Calgary. It took forever, we thought we would go around the city quicker on the circle route. It started out great, but then traffic got slower and slower….again vehicles in the ditch everywhere, some recent, some from the night before. We then came to a complete stop when we approached the “Closure”. Now we were rerouted through the city….and drove around looking for the freeway again. Once back on the freeway, I only had one occasion that had me grab the “Oh Jesus bar” When accelerating up a hill we went sideways down the freeway, we drove on to Helena Montana, again wimping out and getting a hotel room!
The next morning the forecast was much the same as it had been. We left Helena with the thought to stop at an RV park just north of Salt Lake City. We were in and out of bad weather, but it was never good. People don’t slow down here for bad road conditions either. At one point a cop went by us with lights flashing and siren blaring, so we knew we were going to come upon something wonderful! After a few miles down the road we came around the corner to see the cop car just pulling back onto the highway from the shoulder of the road…thinking control was lost on the black ice he the car ended up off the road! Rounding a few more corners….a vehicle on its roof. With several other vehicles stopped, we continued by slowly, soon after leaving the black ice behind.
As we neared Salt Lake City, we decided to continue to the other side of the city, as the traffic was not that bad, and the roads were decent. They were calling for a dump of snow, so better to get through the city while the roads were good. Stopped at a KOA campsite in Provo for the night. First night that there was no snow on the ground, and relatively warm out, well considering what we had gone through the few days before. It started to rain soon after we got organized in the camper, and I commented on how nice it sounded! Wouldn’t be good if we couldn’t hear anything because snow makes no noise. Soon we were lulled to sleep by the rain in our cozy little abode. Not sure what time it turned to snow…
We had a slow start to the day, wondering if we should just stay and wait this weather out or not. But by 11, after checking the highway web cams, we headed out down the highway. Again, the weather was not perfect, but we did come across sunshine in a few places, and could see more than 1/2 a mile off the road! Several miles South we left the freeway at Scipio heading East onto highway 50, which was two lane, but a great road which would take us up over several mountain passes before joining up with interstate 70, taking us to our destination of the day, Moab, Utah…and the hiking trails of Arches National Park. We did drive through several snow squalls, but basically a wonderful drive.
We found an RV site just south of the park entrance, and pulled in for the night. The temperature was only 2 degrees, so likely to get cooler as the night progressed, however…stars were shining, so the likelihood of waking up to snow was slim. March 5th – started out beautiful…not sure what the rest of the day has in store for us, but with the sun shining bright, and no clouds in the sky I expect its going to be better than what we have been experiencing. I love sunrises in the desert!
Let the Hiking Begin!