Posts Tagged ‘Weather’

Road Trip: Lovington, Texas, to Alamogordo, New Mexico

             “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” – E L. Doctorow  

I went from fog and clouds to clear sky from one side of the mountain to another. The silver lining was actually waiting for me to arrive. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I went from fog and clouds to clear sky from one side of the mountain to another. The silver lining was actually waiting for me to arrive. — Photo by Pat Bean

From Cold Fog to Warm Sunshine

I’ve always loved the way Carl Sandburg describes fog: “The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits, looking over harbor and city on silent haunches, and then moves on.”  These are words that sing to me.

Another snowy, foggy day, although this photo was taken while driving over Galena Pass in Idaho. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Another snowy, foggy day, although this photo was taken while driving over Galena Pass in Idaho. — Photo by Pat Bean

But I wasn’t singing when the second part of my day’s drive, which had begun with 30 mph winds adding chill to the thermometer’s 28 degrees, became blurred with fog. It began in serious after I passed through Artesia, and had left the passing scenery of cattle, oil rigs and cotton fields behind me.

The landscape along the 92 miles on Highway 82 from Artesia to Cloudcroft rose over 5,000 feet — from 3,382 feet to 8,668 feet — and the fog varied in thickness from letting me see one vehicle – always a slow-moving truck — to two vehicles ahead. I decided, wisely, to just relax, not try to pass and enjoy as much of the passing, often snow-covered scenery as possible.

Being a wimp, I didn’t stop as I usually do to take photographs because my dashboard kept informing me that the exterior temperature never got above 27 degrees, and was often lower.

And then an amazing thing happened. As I started down the mountain into Alamogordo, I found myself in sunshine with the outside temperature rapidly rising. When I hit the Alamogordo city limits, it was 61 degrees. You can’t fool Mother Nature but sometimes she sure fools us.

Blog pick of the day. Check it out.

Blog pick of the day. Check it out.

Bean Pat: The Return of the Modern Philosopher http://tinyurl.com/nfamnct This is usually an off-the-wall blog that makes you think. Today, the blogger was a bit more serious and asked a question that is probably been running through all sane, peace-loving humans who inhabit this planet.

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 “I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.” E. B, White

Thirty-thousand years ago, only the very tallest peak of Antelope Island, which now sits in Great Salt Lake, would have been visible when Lake Bonneville covered nearly all of Northern Utah. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

My laptop computer finally began misbehaving too badly to ignore any longer. Since it’s my lifeline to the world as a full-time RV-er and daily blogger, and because it had given me four years of decent service, I decided it was time to retire it.

Since I’m rather in the boonies here at Idaho’s Lake Walcott State Park, 45 miles away from the closest Best Buy, I decided to drive 160 miles instead to Ogden, Utah, where I had a geeky-in-a-good-way friend whom could help me set up a new computer.

The historical marker at an Idaho rest stop that got me pondering the ever-changing face of the planet we live on.

It was a beautiful drive, sunny albeit a bit windy, mostly through land that 30,000 years ago lay beneath Lake Bonneville. A large historical marker at a rest stop just north of the Utah border tells travelers all about the prehistoric lake, whose shorelines are still in evidence along Interstate 84 which I was driving on this day.

The majority of the 1,000-foot-deep prehistoric lake was in Utah and its two distinct levels were clearly visible from my front porch when I formerly lived in Ogden. I can’t help but notice the ancient shorelines – there’s two distinct levels – every time I return to this city I loved.

The lake took up a huge portion of Utah and smaller bits of Nevada and Idaho until it broke though Idaho’s Red Rock Pass east of 84 about 15,000 years ago.

Great Salt Lake is all that’s left of Lake Bonneville today. It’s average depth is only about 25 feet.

Because I had stopped at the rest stop and seen the sign, I pondered as I drove, about how Mother Nature, with her floods, tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and water and wind erosion is constantly changing the nature of this planet we live on.

I had long ago given up believing I was ever fully in control of my life, and now felt sorry for all those who hadn’t yet reached that conclusion. All we can do is take life a day at a time.

This day was a good one. I even got into Ogden in time to purchase my new computer. It’s a beauty, with more bells and whistles than I will probably ever use. But, everything didn’t go as planned.

Murphy showed up just to show me he could. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow.


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Epcot Butterfly Garden -- Photo by Pat Bean

“When bright flowers bloom, Parchment crumbles, my words fade. The pen has dropped.” — Morpheus  

Travels With Maggie

Enough already with the weather. I’m going to take you on a trip down memory lane to a spring day in Florida, the one  I spent at Epcot with a son and two grown grandchildren. It was one of those perfect days, full of laughter and sunshine, good food and pleasant company.

Fantasia in green -- Photo by Pat Bean

While I enjoyed everything about the day, the fantastic landscaping is what remains most vivid.  Perhaps I remember Epcot’s gardens best because they were so full of color and life, in contrast to this day’s grayness.

In an art appreciation class I once took, I was asked what two things I found most appealing about paintings. My quick answer was color and surprise. The canvas gardens at Epcot had plenty of both.

Golds, Reds, Purples, Blues, Oranges, Greens and Yellows were mixed together everywhere you looked. The surprises were things like the dancing green hippo and alligator, or Snow White’s voluptuous green, vine skirt.

It would be nice right now if I had could think of something philosophical to say about all the beauty I saw that day, but nothing comes to mind. Perhaps because the pictures are overshadowing my words.

So I’ll stop with the chattering and let the pictures do the rest of the talking. I hope they’ll brighten your day as much as they did mine.

Color to spare for a gray day -- Photo by Pat Bean

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This groundhog is enjoying a past spring. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

 “Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.” — Maori Proverb

Travels With Maggie

Two famous groundhogs, Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania and Gen. Beau Lee in Georgia, didn’t see their shadows this morning. This means, according to an old German superstition, that we’ll have an early spring.

Groundhogs are members of the marmot family, and they hibernate in burrows during the winter. I doubt that any wild ones would have even stuck their noses out of the ground this morning, since a killer storm is currently moving across the country.

Phil and Lee are the mascots of two groundhog clubs, whose members actually do the weather prognosticating themselves. But the groundhogs’ supposed predictions of an early spring should still be good news to those buried today beneath snow and ice.

No snow where I’m at, but the weather experts say the 23 degrees the temperature gauge reads would feel more like 9 degrees if I stuck my head out of my RV. For the record, I’m currently parked in a son’s Lake Jackson, Texas, driveway. And 9 degrees, or 24 for that matter, is pretty darn cold for the Texas Gulf Coast.

It’s a mere mosquito bite, however, to what other parts of the country are experiencing.

According to a story in the NY Times, about a third of the country is paralyzed. Nearly 13,000 flights have been canceled and the number is expected to rise to 20,000.

It’s a day for those of us who are holed up snug and warm to send vibes of hope to those who have been caught up in Mother Nature’s frigid tantrum. It’s also a good day for those of who are safely cosseted to count our blessings.

Mine includes family, friends, my dog Maggie, my health, a zest for life, good coffee, comfortable shoes, a decent computer, birds to watch and roads to travel.

That’s just 10, but there are hundreds of others. That’s OK. I have the whole day ahead to contemplate them.

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 “The trouble with weather forecasting is that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.” — Patrick Young

Snow was plentiful on my journey up and over 8,700-foot Galena Pass, but thankfully the roadway was dry. ... Photo by Pat Bean

Dodging Storms

After leaving Lake Walcott, my travels took me up Highway 75 to Ketchum, which sits in full view of the awesomely ragged Sawtooth Mountains. I checked into the Meadows RV Park on the outskirts of town for one night, expecting to travel on the next morning. I awoke, however, to four inches of snow on the ground beside my RV.

Staying in Ketchum had more appeal to me than meandering on down the road, so that’s exactly what I did.

The next morning, thankfully, I awoke to a clear sky, which soon had me packing up my RV. These pre-road chores include unhooking water and electricity land connections, kicking the tires and walking around the RV on the outside, then making sure everything is in its proper confined space on the inside. The last thing I looked around for was my coffee cup. It’s been know to escape my attention and the result isn’t pretty.

My grand drive this day took me up and over 8,700-foot Galena Pass. I saw plenty of snow along the way, but thankfully none of it was on the road. Arriving early afternoon in Salmon, the gateway for rafters going down “The River of No Return,” I decided to treat myself to a late lunch in a restaurant.

Bertram’s Pub and Brewery looked the most inviting. It was a good choice,I decided as I drank down the last swallow of the dark, award-winning Sacajaweja beer I had ordered to go with my Belly Buster hamburger, two thirds of which went back to the RV with me in a doggie bag. Maggie did get a bite, but the burger also made a filling dinner for me.

The Salmon River, also known as "The River of No Return." For the record, one can return up it. I did. After a five-day white-water rafting trip, a jet boat took two hours to return me to my starting point at Corn Creek near Salmon. ... Photo by Pat Bean

I awoke the next morning to rain, and a forecast of snow about 5,000 feet. Some of the passes I needed to cross were above 7,000 feet. I decided it was yet another good day to stay put here at Salmon’s Century RV Park. And so I did, feeling as if someone had hit the replay button.

Copyrighted by Pat Bean

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