Here's the scoop. We were invited to drive a car to Colorado for our daughter, Melynda, so we took off for a weekend drive to then fly back on Sunday evening. No problem. Right? Everything was going fine until Cedar City, Utah where it started snowing at about 3 in the afternoon. The road wasn't too bad, so we proceeded up I-15 and made the turn-off onto I-70 heading east to Grand Junction. I had been checking the weather ahead on my Tablet and could see that it was still snowing ahead, but that in about an hour the roads were dry. That's what I focused on. So we headed up what, at the beginning, I didn't realize was the assent to the summit at 7100 ft. By now the road was covered with snow, and as we rounded a bend still heading up, we saw several cars and trucks ahead of us and before we could chastise ourselves too much for not having chains, we reached the summit and stopped in our tracks behind a semi that was stopped to put on his chains.
We were going nowhere! But there was some consolation in the fact that neither were the other trucks and cars. I was so uncomfortable, because even though there was an entire lane to our right, there was a cliff and no barrier!
The police showed up quickly, called for the snow plow, and after about 30 minutes and the snow plow spreading salt and gravel in that outer lane next to us and the edge, three guys literally pushed our car onto the gravel so we could get traction and proceed, which we did.
The downhill had been plowed and graveled, so we took it slowly and made our way down. We were out in front with Melynda behind us. There was one other car following her, and no one else coming down that hill. I can't image how long they were stuck up there in back of all those semis.
After about 45 minutes, it started to snow. It was about 5:30 now on a moonless nite, and snowing and snowing some more and then some more until we had just about 10 feet visibility. All Michael could do was to watch the reflectors on either side of the road and go very slowly. The snow reflected in the headlights and was coming at us so fast that being more than a little tired after driving 12 hours on only 3 hours of sleep, my mind tricked me for an instant into thinking we were actually going backwards! Finally, after an interminable amount of time, we were out of the snow, the road dried up or maybe we occasionally hit a rainy patch, and we made our way to the turnoff to Moab.
In Moab, we turned in the rental car that Michael had been driving, got into Melynda's car and continued on to Gunnison. Just as we were headed out of Grand Junction on the 50 south, it started to snow again. I was not happy. As we slowed down yet again, our calculus of our arrival time at our hotel kept changing from the most optimistic of 11pm in increments to eventually 2am. It just never got any better, but at least the roads were regularly plowed, and we had our own personal snow plow for about 30 minutes (at about 20 mpg). Other than that, we were the only ones on the road. We did see a herd of elk outside of Montrose; very cool! I also remembered that along the way, we would be driving by a very long, long lake and at one point we did cross the bridge, but other than that, we couldn't see any scenery. No moon! We finally arrived in Gunnison and our hotel at 2:30am and fell asleep instantly.
On Sunday morning, we headed east along 50 toward Denver, now to take Michael and I to the airport. Daireus was on his honeymoon at a ski resort, so we didn't even get to see him. Our 3:54pm flight filled up before our waiting eyes, so we were bumped to the 7:05. The lesson of the day seemed to be one of patience, because at no point could we have done anything about anything! Finally, we boarded the plane, and once the doors closed, anticipated being home in our beds by about 10pm. But the plane didn't move. Finally, the captain informed us that 8 pieces of errant luggage had been discovered on other planes, and we would wait until they all found their way back to their intended flight in which we were waiting. 25 minutes passed, and we took off.
Arriving in SD, we taxied to the gate, the engines shut down, and we waited for the doors to open. Instead, a very stern and intentional voice came over the speaker: "This is the Harbour Police responding to a call that there was an altercation on this plane, and we are coming on board to remove the offending parties. Please stay in your seats until we clear the plane." They took off 3 adults and 3 teens from the back of the aircraft! We hadn't heard a thing. Finally, we disembarked.
It was so great to see Don and Whitney who graciously agreed to take us to Encinitas to our car. We got to the light just in front of the train tracks and the barrier went down, not for an Amtrak, but for a freight train. Ok, another few minutes is ok, but then the train stopped! Finally, after about 15 minutes, we were on our way. Our heads hit the pillow at 11:30. It was the longest day ever!
We love being back in San Diego, as beautiful as Colorado is in the winter.