Tag Archives: snow

Mondays are for Memories – January 2010

Since so many of our family and friends are posting snow pictures, I checked back in the archive to January 2010 when we were working at Cherry Valley School in Beaumont, California. We might not have had a ton of snow at our location, but it wasn’t far away!

January 31, 2010 – The Round About Way

Since this was our last weekend in the “Pass” (as this area is known), we figured we’d better take the advantage of a beautiful day on Saturday to take a drive to some of the nearby spots we’d been wanting to check out. Big Bear Lake and ski areas were only about 45 miles away according to our GPS, but of course we wanted to stay away from major interstates and congested areas. “Let’s go up the back way, through Oak Glen (a quaint town of orchards and all things apple only 15 miles or so up the road), maybe check out a couple of geocaches, and then make our way over to Big Bear Lake.” Sounded like a plan, so I grabbed the camera, a couple of bottles of water and some snacks, and off we went!
First Stop – Oak Glen.
OK, so we didn’t actually stop (it’s not exactly prime apple harvest time), but the views were impressive as we were heading out of town –
January 30 drive-1
And we really enjoyed the signage!
January 30 drive-2
Trust me, they really know how to do “curvy” here in California!
Oh – and I wish I knew exactly what mountain that is in the distance. It was in my viewfinder for most of the day, but the best I can do is “San Bernardino Mountain”. And it’s a guess, folks. Just a guess.
But I digress with my lack of geography knowledge…..
January 30 drive-3
See, there it is again!
Since we were headed to Big Bear we knew we would be coming into some snow. Remember last week when we had 2-4 inches of the stuff? Well, the mountains near here got 2-4 feet. Or so it seemed by the look of this car coming toward us on the highway –
January 30 drive-4
Uh, sweetie – the snow was LAST WEEK, and maybe you could have cleaned a little more off the driver’s side??????
But for us, the roads were clear.
January 30 drive-5
And even though the plowed piles got higher and higher, the drive was lovely!
January 30 drive-6
We did take a little detour to do a geocache, and while Gary was walking around with his trusty GPS
January 30 drive-8
I was busy clicking away at the beautiful snow covered landscape.
January 30 drive-7January 30 drive-9
(I think this cactus was a little concerned about the blanket of snow….)
Finding the cache with all the snow presented a little bit of a challenge (and we hadn’t done much geocaching lately, so we were a little out of practice), but I finally noticed a straight edged thing under a root.
January 30 drive-11
I made Gary do the groping (I’m not really fond of sticking my hand into dark “what just might be there” spaces, and we were rewarded with our first “find” in several months.
There were several other mountain roads that Gary had hoped to explore, but they were all closed. Such a disappointment for a guy who was really hoping for some dirt road adventures.
January 30 drive-12
Anyway….on to Big Bear Lake.
January 30 drive-13
January 30 drive-15
January 30 drive-17
January 30 drive-16
All along the way we saw cars pulled over and folks getting ready to find a sledding hill or strapping on their cross-country skis or just plain having a snowball fight. Those are some renegade snowballs on the lake ice!
And there certainly was snow enough for everyone.
January 30 drive-14
Maybe they are waiting for spring?
January 30 drive-18
We literally crawled through the town Big Bear Lake – not only was last week’s snow the first BIG snow in a couple of years, but this was the first weekend day that the roads were open. It took us 2 ½ hours to drive the 10 miles along the south side of the lake. (We stopped for lunch thinking that maybe we could “wait out” the traffic. Not only was the lunch the slowest meal we’ve had in a loooonnnng time (2 hrs. for a burger and a bowl of chili), but the traffic was still waiting for us when we were (finally) done.) I have to tell you, 4 ½ hours of Big Bear Lake is just a little bit too much!
Not wanting to go back the same way we came, Gary chose to head north, pick up a cut-off road that went over to Yucca Valley, and return from the East. It was a great plan, except we never found the short cut road. Apparently the plows had never found it either. The road we thought was “it” turned out to be a little connector road that took us back to Baldwin Lake and was only about a ½ mile long.
January 30 drive-23
But it did (almost) give him his dirt (mud) road fix.
Almost.
Enough chatter – here, in the order of their appearance, is the rest of drive home.
January 30 drive-19
January 30 drive-20
Baldwin Lake
January 30 drive-22
January 30 drive-21
Down the other side of the mountain until we ended up in the “high desert”.
January 30 drive-24
We were losing daylight fast –
January 30 drive-25
Caught the sunset going through Yucca Valley
January 30 drive-26
(sorry for the blurry sunset. It’s very tricky taking sunset shots from a moving truck!)
That trip home was definitely the “long way home”!
Here’s our day’s journey on the map –
Jan 30 Drive
(You can see our missing”shortcut” home – it goes east above Big Bear and heads over to Pioneertown and Yucca Valley. It would have been sweet if it had been open!)
Zoomed out a bit –
Jan 30 Big
And here’s a zoom in –
Jan 30 small
Yeah, there were a lot of those curves!
You know, not everyone can take what should be a 100 round trip drive and turn it into a good 200 miles. And even with the crawl through Bear Lake and the incredibly slow lunch service, it was indeed a Very Good 200 miles!

Here’s a link to the original post – The Round About Way

And it came to pass

The rain has stopped. We have not floated away. But the weather certainly got more interesting before the sun returned. I think it was Wednesday that I was alarmed to see “white stuff” on the truck –
IMG_0169_edited-1
So imagine our surprise when we woke up to this on Friday morning –
Snowy morning
Now THAT’S some “white stuff”!
January Snow
It continued to snow and rain for the rest of the day
January Snow-1
and I just kept repeating to myself – Southern California….Southern California….

But Saturday dawned bright and clear. Ah, sunshine! Even though the temps were still in the low 40’s it still seemed like a beautiful day! I took an early morning drive to check out the snow in the area. I drove just a couple of blocks south to get a clear view of the mountains to the north (does that make any sense?). And it was quite a view!
Cherry Valley Snow
Those mountains look like they’ve been covered with powdered sugar, don’t they.
I drove back to the school, but continued north for just a little bit. Seems where we are parked was right on the snow/rain “line”, since just up the road a piece the scenery was quite wintery!
January Snow-2
January Snow-3
I think those palm trees were also saying …Southern California….Southern California……
This shot is looking south again – no snow on those mountains!
January Snow-4

So it was quite a week, weather-wise. The coming week looks much calmer. Not a whole lot warmer, but temps in the 50’s and more sun than rain. Sounds good to me!

New Road! Snow Road!

We’re on the road again, after a delayed departure from Nampa as we waited (and waited) for the return of my computer. Getting on the road at 5PM is not really our idea of a good start, but start we did. We are headed to Southern California – Jordan Outreach Ministries in Coachella, CA. (I understand it was 75 there today. It’s going to be 14 here tonight.)
Idaho Road
Since we wanted to stop and see my niece near Salt Lake City, we were heading SE across the lower part of Idaho. I gotta tell you – there is not much to see!
Idaho Road-1
Idaho Road-2
We obviously didn’t get too far (trying to find a place to park in the dark is really not fun), but we were on our way bright and early the next morning. We were hoping to get to Salt Lake City by noon.
Utah Road
Utah Road-1Utah Road-2
Utah Road-3
Utah Road-4
We did finally hit some traffic just as we were coming to the The Great Salt Lake –
Utah Road-6
And this is pretty much all we saw of the lake (as we sat in traffic!)
Utah Road-7
Utah Road-8
We did manage to hook up with Bethany just after noon, and she and I took a tour of Salt Lake City (while Gary kicked back, took a nap and did some reading.). She was a great tour guide – and I’ll do a separate post of that! (I promise!).

This morning we were on the road a little after 6AM – hoping to beat some of the Salt Lake City traffic (we were pretty much driving from one side of the city to the other on the interstate). Pretty much all we managed to do is join in all the traffic in the dark. We made it through and eventually left the traffic behind us.
I15 in the Snow
What we didn’t leave behind us was the snow, and although there were stretches without any of the white stuff,
I15 in the Snow-2
we could tell by the white stuff hanging on the distant mountains, that there was indeed more snow in dem dar mountains.
When we stopped for fuel at around 9AM we learned that the mountain passes (our route) were requiring chains so we figured we better stay put. As the day wore on we kept seeing lots of other RVs and trucks heading south on I15 and we finally decided that we would give it a shot. We had a full tank of diesel and a full tank of propane, so we figured we were set. Oh, and we also talked with someone who had come from that direction and he said the roads weren’t too bad. The sky even seemed to be clearing some, so off we went.
I15 in the Snow-3
Looks OK so far…..
I15 in the Snow-4
Alright, so it’s starting to snow pretty good, but the road is still pretty clear.
I15 in the Snow-5
Hmmmmm…the mountains are beginning to disappear in the snow…….
NOT US!
Oh, man, I AM NOT feeling good about this. Slow down!!!!!!
I15 in the Snow-6
The lanes are getting pretty narrow, and now everyone is going at a snails pace as we climb to the final (I hope) summit.
I15 in the Snow-7
I15 in the Snow-8
It was bumper to bumper all the way to the top (apparently a LOT of folks paid no attention to the winter weather warning!), things lightened up a little as we crawled down that “hill”, and after another couple of hours of off and on again snow, we did finally make it to the Walmart in Cedar City. It’s still snowing lightly, and it really is going to be in the mid-high teens tonight, but we made it over the pass and we are VERY THANKFUL!

Time to get snuggled under that wonderful down comforter.
(as soon as the Phillies win, right?)

Trying to keep on track

(Actual date – 5/28 – and we’re just 14 miles from our destination. We’re at North Pole, Alaska – where Christmas is always in the air! Here are the posts I’ve been writing, but have been unable to actually upload. Pour yourself another cup of coffee – this could take awhile!)
5/24/09
I don’t know when I’ll have a chance to post anything, so I’ll just keep writing, and hopefully it won’t be too confusing when it comes time to post.

More about Saturday May 23 – Day 13
Let’s be honest. For a girl who doesn’t like to spend more than $10.00 on a museum ticket, taking a day long cruise from Skagway to Juneau was a little outside of my thrifty comfort zone. But everyone that we spoke to highly recommended the cruise and after all, it included not only a comfortable 2 1/2 hour cruise (filled with promised wildlife) to Juneau, our only chance to actually see Juneau, a trip to a famous glacier PLUS a blueberry muffin and apple on the way down and smoked salmon chowder and a roll on the way back (another lengthy boat ride, but a little more direct since we wouldn’t be stopping to view known seal rookeries). My more traveled companions assured me that it was really a good value, so I agreed, figuring it really was a once in a lifetime excursion. And truly it was! I know I gave you a quick rundown of the day in an earlier post – but just to rehash (and with a couple more pictures…..)
The drive down to Skagway was breathtaking. It was especially so as we neared the Alaskan border, but even as we set out (like at 6AM), the nearby lake was beautiful in the morning light.
Alaskan drive - day 13-8
And as the drive continued south
Alaskan drive - day 13-12
and we began the climb into the mountains
Alaskan drive - day 13-15
It was like we were in a winter wonderland
Alaskan Drive - Day 13

We made it across the border (it’s so much simpler when you are in a car instead of a motor home!)
Alaskan drive - day 13-18
And started down a loooonnnnnnggggg 11% grade hill (another thing so much simpler in a car than a motor home)
Alaskan Drive - Day 13-43
Until we reached Skagway – (population 834- except when there is a cruise ship in port!)
Alaskan drive - day 13-21
(it’s pretty quiet there at 7AM on a Saturday!)

Our boat departed at 8AM – and right away we had a taste of how beautiful the day would be.
Alaskan drive - day 13-22
We saw probably a dozen eagles, sea lions and harbor seals – too many to count, had dolphins swimming along side our boat as she clipped along at 30 knots, spotted at least 4 whales and enjoyed scenery that was breathtaking.
Alaskan drive - day 13-26
Alaskan drive - day 13-35
Alaskan drive - day 13-40
Alaskan drive - day 13-39

Juneau was “touristy”, though we did get to see the capital building and the governor’s home (Hi, Sarah!) during our bus tour. I didn’t know what to expect at the glacier (not having one in the neighborhood and all), but it was very interesting. I don’t know if you can see how blue the ice is, but it was quite beautiful.
Alaskan drive - day 13-36
The cruise back to Skagway as just as beautiful, though a little shorter. We had no planned wildlife stops (like the rookeries), but when anyone spotted a whale or a dolphin, we did a thorough investigation. Here we are departing from our dock outside of Juneau –
Alaskan drive - day 13-37

We didn’t arrive back home in Carcross until almost 11PM. It was a very long day and we were all tired puppies. But it is a day that we certainly won’t forget anytime soon!
More Day 13 Photos (yes, there are more!)
Sunday, May 24, 2009 – Day 14
We left our campground in time for us to get to church in Whitehorse. We had scoped out a church that had adequate parking (or parking nearby) for our three big houses, and were blessed to worship with folks at the Whitehorse Baptist Church. I think they were pretty used to having travelers visit, but I also think we were the first of the season. We soon were on our way, hoping to get as far as Kluane Lake north of Haines Junction.
The drive, as always, was beautiful (though there were some patches of road that weren’t so “beautiful”.)
Alaskan Drive - Day 14-6
We were driving along the Wrangell-St. Elias Mountain ranges, home to Mt. Logan the tallest peak in Canada. We never saw Mt. Logan, but the mountains all around us were (I’m sorry to keep using this word) spectacular.
Alaskan Drive - Day 14-10
Alaskan Drive - Day 14-11
We were all feeling quite weary after our long day on Saturday and in all honesty, I think the guys were all getting a little tired of driving, driving, driving. While we didn’t have a particular camping spot in mind, Gary was hoping to find a pull-off with a view of Lake Kluane (and that didn’t have a “no overnight parking” sign).
Here is where we ended up –
Alaskan Drive - Day 14-13
Isn’t our God good to us????
The view out our front window around 10:45
Lake Kluane camping
And then around 1:45-
Alaskan Drive - Day 15
It almost made that middle of the night trip to the john worth it!
More Day 14 Pictures
Memorial Day – Monday, 5/25 – Day 15
It was a beautiful day – starting with prayer along the shore of the beautiful Lake Kluane.
Alaskan Drive - Day 15-1
(Pardon yesterday’s bugs on the windshield.)
Alaskan Drive - Day 15-2
From there on it was pretty much push on to Tok. We made it through customs with no problem – and arrived in Tok around 2PM Alaskan time. It was a long day, with lots of bumpy road, so we’re all BEAT! But still the beauty continues!
Alaskan Drive - Day 15-3
Alaskan Drive - Day 15-4
Alaskan Drive - Day 15-9
Alaskan Drive - Day 15-13
Alaskan Drive - Day 15-12
(eewww – gravel!)
Alaskan Drive - Day 15-15

We were all pretty glad to settle into a campground and call it a day. It wasn’t our farthest day of travel (about 250 miles), but it was over 8 hours behind the wheel. This last stretch of road was particularly full of frost heaves, and boy when ol’ Lizzie hits one of those heaves – all kinds of things heave in here! I finally tied my little dashboard plant to one of the stationary fans on the dash just to keep it from continually tipping over! We were glad to arrive in Tok in one piece (more or less) and just in need of a nap!

Off to bed – sweet dreams!
Steph
More Day 15 Pictures….

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 Day 16
Today was a good day because
1. We were able to hook up with some Sower friends, Pete and Ellen, who were also traveling in Alaska. Turns out we were all in Tok at the same time, just in different campgrounds! They have joined our little caravan for a couple of days – what fun!
2. We came to the end of the Alaska Highway. All 1422 miles of it. No band was there to congratulate us on the accomplishment, but we did get (for the bargain price of $1.00) a certificate recognizing our accomplishment. Now we’ve driven 2175 miles all together (and still have about 100 to go), but somehow driving the whole length of the Alaska Highway (especially without any broken windshields or flat tires) seemed like a reason to celebrate. Fortunately the local IGA (and the closest thing we’ve seen to a real supermarket in the last 500 miles or so) had a nice ice cream stand so we were able to celebrate properly. And, it was a sunny 75 degrees. Here we are with our expanded group –
Alaskan Drive - Day 16-7
3. We found a great place to park – Rika’s Roadhouse State Historical Site. They offer dry camping for $5.00/night which was music to our ears. We settled in, had a great dinner of burgers on the grill and then sat around a campfire with folks from the other two RV’s parked there. It’s been fun to meet folks along the way, and we had seen one of the RV’s all along the way in our travels. (It’s not as if there are lots of places to turn off!) It was good to finally meet them and hear their story.
4. I knew we weren’t going anywhere on Wednesday. We were all ready for a no-driving day!

So here are just a couple of shots from our short (110) mile day.
Alaskan Drive - Day 16
Lots of long straight road –
Alaskan Drive - Day 16-2
Without too much break in the scenery.
And even though it was quite warm , there was still plenty of ice on the rivers –
Alaskan Drive - Day 16-1

No exciting wildlife sightings along the way. The only interesting thing we saw was a HUGE rabbit at the campground in the morning.
Alaskan Drive - Day 16-9
Trust me, this baby was BIG!

And of course we couldn’t resist a stop for some Yak Sausage (among other delights) at the Delta Meat and Sausage Company.
Alaskan Drive - Day 16-5
(We do kinda take up the parking lot, don’t we?)

Finally, a lovely Alaskan wildflower we spotted at the campground. I thinks it’s a Pasque Flower.
Alaskan Drive - Day 16
(It’s true, I’m still working on my macro technique!)

A good day in sooo many ways!
More Day 17 Pictures

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 Day 17

Today was a lovely quiet day. We all walked over to checkout Rika’s Roadhouse – an historic compound where travelers could stop and rest along their journey up and down the Tanana River.
Alaskan Drive - day 17
It also gave us our first view of the Alaskan Pipeline as it crosses the Tanana River.
Alaskan Drive - Day 17-1

We did a little driving around and spotted a moose. But as is often the case, this is what I managed to get a picture of –
Alaskan Drive - Day 17-2
Trust me, there’s a big il’ mama moose in there! No, look – she’s even looking at the camera!

The day started with sunshine, turned cold and windy and kicked up a huge dust storm, and then started to rain. We must be in Alaska!

And that brings us up to Today (well, yesterday by the time I got this all put together!) – Thursday, May 28 – Day 18. For the first time since we left Washington we were not the lead RV! Pete and Ellen had a campground all scoped out for our last night on the road, so we let them lead the way and we pulled up the rear.
Alaskan Drive - Day 18-1
Hello, John!!!
It was a short drive to North Pole, AK. The Visitor Center was very cute –
Alaskan Drive - Day 18-2
and very informative.
Alaskan Drive - Day 18-3


Tomorrow we head into our June project, Camp Li-Wa , just 15 miles up the road. As amazing as this trip has been (with more delights in store for us as the summer progresses), it will be very nice to settle in and get to work next week. All this playing is exhausting. 🙂