02 Jan 2007 Tuesday

So, our two and a half day trip took us nearly a week.  We finally got home to Colorado and our trailer this afternoon.

Simon loved running around in the snow and he seems to approve of the smell of the trailer. Dog  Simon jumped out of the truck and into the trailer, sniffed around a bit and plopped down on the sofa. It apparently had enough of our smells (stink?) in it that he knew we were staying for a while. He loves to play in the snow. He hops thru it like a deer. At our trailer the snow is about 18-24 inches high. The owners of the RV park were nice enough to have a our parking spot and front door cleared of snow. We are far enough off the road that we can let Simon out off leash and let him run a little when we take him outside to pee. We got a fence to put up for him, but we haven’t had time to put it together yet.

We got home with enough daylight to set things up: the sewer, water, electric and gas. It was cold enough that some bottles of window cleaner and such were frozen, but I had left them in the bathtub, so it wasn’t a mess when one froze, expanded and overflowed.  We got things hooked up and somewhat unpacked. We had to get all the liquids out of the back of the truck before we could relax our first night. Bottles of wine and sauces we brought back from Atlanta would freeze and break if it got too cold overnight. I think it was only about 11 degrees that first night.  We called the RV park to let them know we were coming in and Edie said it was -2 degrees this morning about 8am. Brrr….. Right now, about 9pm, it’s only about 17 degrees outside, much warmer.

I know it’s just a tin can on wheels, but it’s home.

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01 Jan 2007 Monday – New Year’s Day

After three days in Amarillo, TX we were ready to go mad. We finally got out Monday morning and those hundred-thousand friends of ours were all there too. Traffic was horrible. Super Angry  It took us all day to make it from Amarillo, TX to Albuquerque, NM, about a four hour drive. We got off in one place to get gas and there was only one route in plowed thru the snow. Once we got in line for gas, we could not get out. We were there about an hour in line with big-rigs and RV’s filling their hundred-gallon tanks. If the station had run out of gas, it could have incited a riot. The weather was cold, but tempers were running hot.

We found a hotel in Las Vegas, MN just north of Albuquerque. They had been packed too, for the last few days with travelers stranded. It was a much quieter place now and we finally got some sleep.  Sleep

Simon is quite confused. We keep telling him we are going home, but we take him to places that don’t smell anything like the home he expects.  Dog

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What am I doing celebrating New Years in Amarillo, Texas?

What am I doing celebrating New Years in Amarillo, Texas?  The answer is here.  Oh well.  We were lucky enough to find a hotel in Amarillo I suppose.  So much for getting to Colorado before New Years. Today we drove out about an hour to Vega, TX only to be turned around by the Texas state patrol because the roads in New Mexico were closed. I wonder if it’s a conspiracy to keep business in Amarillo? Actually, I suppose we’d be in a world of hurt if we had continued. There’s really not much between Amarillo and Albuquerque. Anyhow, it is hard to express in words how we felt heading back to Amarillo… More money to spend on hotels and restaurants; more time in this godforsaken windswept town on the plains of Texas; a cloud of gloom descends upon us. We are not happy travelers right now. At least U-HAUL tells us they won’t be charging us for weather delays.

On the bright side of things, we do have our dog with us. He apparently has a pretty amazing memory. When we arrived at Dianne’s (Teresa’s sister) house in Florida, Simon was barking his head off. Teresa called out “Simon!”… dead silence. We got to the door, we could see through the glass… our Simon with that goofy grin all over his face. He’s very happy to see us and be with us, but quite confused about the current state of affairs. I suppose that makes for three confused beings. Oh well… as they say, “the best laid plans of mice and men”…

I hope your New Years is better than ours! Here’s wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and safe new year!

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31 Dec 2006 Sunday – New Year’s Eve

Our second morning in Amarillo, we heard that the road was opened. We got excited and headed out I-40 about 20 miles… only to get turned around. Roads were still closed in New Mexico.

A hundred-thousand of our very best friends all got to go back to Amarillo with us. We called ahead and the hotel we were staying didn’t have any openings. We found another place, much bigger, more people, much louder. And it was New Year’s Eve. We had hoped to be in Colorado by New Year’s. (sigh) All three of us got very little sleep (Simon had to growl or bark at every noise, protecting us, of course).

Happy freekin’ New Year. Crying

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30 Dec 2006 Saturday

We had to decide whether to take I-70, thru Kansas and Eastern Colorado or I-40 thru Oklahoma and northern Texas. We checked the weather and there were thunderstorms and tornados south of us in Texas and a winter snow storm dumping snow on Denver again north of us. We thought we could slide thru along I-40 to Albuquerque and head north on I-25. Mother Nature had other plans for us. We got as far as Amarillo, TX and we stopped for the night. The highway signs announced that I-40 and I-25 were closed in New Mexico due to “Winter Weather Conditions”.

The next morning we awoke to a quarter inch of ice on EVERYTHING. The trees and grasses were beautiful, all shiny, but ice is impossible to get around on. I fell twice and bruised my ego (and my butt). We just stayed put and made the best of things for the day. We can get out tomorrow.

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29 Dec 2006 Friday

We had to decide whether to take I-70, thru Kansas and Eastern Colorado or I-40 thru Oklahoma and northern Texas. We checked the weather and there were thunderstorms and tornados south of us in Texas and a winter snow storm dumping snow on Denver again north of us. We thought we could slide thru along I-40 to Albuquerque and head north on I-25.

Mother Nature had other plans for us. We got as far as Amarillo, TX and we stopped for the night. The highway signs announced that I-40 and I-25 were closed in New Mexico due to “Winter Weather Conditions”.  This is as far as we can go for now.

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28 Dec 2006 Thursday

Our first night after leaving Birmingham, we made it past the Oklahoma state line to a town called Sallisaw. We found a hotel that was inexpensive and took dogs. When we got there, they told us that the rooms they had available we next to “The Club”. We were tired and there was a breezeway between us and the Club, so we took it. Surely it couldn’t be that loud on a Thursday night.

We quickly found out that the Club was a Bring-Your-Own-Bottle club with Karaoke on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Ugh! They music varied from barely heard to quite annoying. It was off and on until about 2am. We had a late night.

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27 Dec 2006 Wednesday

We rented a hitch mounted U-Haul and filled it up with our tools and office furniture and a few other things we thought we might need.  We made the trip to Birmingham from Colorado in two days, with Simon, we figured we’ll need two and a half to three days to get back.  We’ve heard about some bad weather in the Denver area, so we are watching the reports and making our route decisions on the fly.

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26 Dec 2006 Tuesday

We drove the long, 12 hour drive to Birmingham, AL, to Anita and Phil’s house where most of our stuff is stored.  We have Simon with us and he’s so excited to be going “home”.  He just doesn’t realize it’s not the same “home” he left. 

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25 December 2006 Monday – Christmas Day

Andrew and I were planning on visiting with my sisters Gay and Anneleise, but as we were getting ready to leave, it started raining really hard.  We heard about some tornado warnings for the afternoon.  We decided to stay with the doggies at Dianne’s house until the storm blew over.  I called and wished everyone a Merry Christmas.  We head out tomorrow.

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