Monday, February 22, 2010

Cabin Trip, February 2010

These photos are from our trip to Pinegrove cabin on February 19-21.  We essentially invited everyone to come along, although Kiley had to stay home for a jazz festival and a cello audition.  We specifically encouraged Dorine's brother Don (and his wife Margarita and daughter Rosita) to come up, inasmuch as we'd volunteered to replace the baseboard heaters in the cabin -- and Don, an electrical engineer and a knowledgeable electrician, was needed in that regard.

I had good weather and clear roads when I drove up by myself in my truck during the day on Friday, which I did so that I could pick up all the new heaters and thermostats at the Ace Hardware store in Pagosa Springs.  However, by the time everyone else came up that evening, the weather and road conditions in the area had deteriorated dramatically.  Nonetheless, everyone got to the cabin safely, and we were able to have some fun over the weekend -- it's always a highlight for me to go into town and get ice cream at the Malt Shoppe.  Installing the heaters on Saturday took quite a bit of work, so I never really had a chance to play in the snow or take a walk with the kids along the frozen Rio Blanco.  It continued to snow on Saturday and Sunday morning, so we decided to leave a little early to come home.

Most of our cars had four-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, or at least front-wheel drive; however, Heidi's Kia Sorento has two-wheel/rear-wheel drive (and she didn't have chains for it).  I ended up driving it from the cabin to EspaƱola, and U.S. 84 to the state line was extremely snow-packed and icy.  Despite driving 20-25 mph most of the way to the New Mexico border, I must have started sliding sideways at least a half-dozen times, especially on the sharp curve at the bottom of "Confar Hill," where we almost slid off both sides of the road (and where at least one car had gone off the road into a snow drift).  Thankfully, the NMDOT had already started sanding and plowing the road, so things were better once we got back into New Mexico.  (As we were approaching Chama, I finally noticed that I'd been gripping the steering wheel so tightly that several of my fingers were numb!)