Thursday, March 25, 2010

Snow Bust

The weather in the Texas Panhandle on Wednesday left a lot to be desired. Another storm system and cold front swept through bringing wind, periods of rain, and cold temps which kept everyone wrapped up and close to a heat source all day. And there were predictions of snow overnight Wednesday night.

There's only one road down into the canyon in the State Park -- the one we took to get from the front gate (up-top) down to our campsite in Sagebrush Campground (at the bottom). I think I mentioned the other day that it's an old 1930's road, steep (10% grade), narrow, with no guard-rails at all. ("You pays you money and you takes you chances.") At the top and at the bottom of the steepest part I noticed some big orange traffic baricades, which I learned were employed when it becomes necessary to close the road, which happens during snow and ice storms -- like what we were expecting on Wednesday. If your camper is down in the canyon and you've dashed off for a day of exploring in, oh say Amarillo... and they need to close the road... well, you'll have to find another place to sleep, at least until nature takes it's course and the road re-opens again. No one goes down or up if it's closed.

Well, we had a couple errands to run and a few food essentials to pick up, so we dashed into town (up-top) about noon on Wednesday. But with temps hovering around 37f we didn't linger and scooted right back to the bus-house. I really didn't see myself sleeping in the car in the parking lot at the visitor center.

After a movie and some popcorn, and the 10pm weather report, we went to bed fully expecting to wake to a layer (2 to 3 inches, said the pro's) of snow covering the floor of the canyon. I woke about midnight to the sound of rain falling on the bus-house roof, but quickly nodded back to sleep, even more assured that the rain would change to snow -- just as they said it would.

This morning, the first eye popped open, glanced at the ceiling (projecting outdoor thermometer) and saw it was 31f outside. The other eye peered out... and saw nothing... no snow. Nada! Dang!

While rooting for snow isn't in my recent repertoire', we were both a little psyched by the possibility. We had nowhere to go, no schedule, no plans... so why not enjoy a little snow, especially when we knew it'd probably be melted and gone within a day? There would have been pictures, a journal entry, stories to tell our grandchildren... we would have gotten a lot of mileage out of the deal.

Instead, I have to write about it NOT snowing.

That's OK, I have a feeling we may still get our chance. This is still March, after all, and we're still working our way North. Anything can happen.