Thursday, December 25, 2008

We departed Ramona California in a storm that had been going on all night. Dick was soaked to the skin by the time we pulled out in the morning. He did change before we left.

When we left Palm Desert area heading for Ramona we went due south as this looked like the shorter route. Well it was except we went straight up the mountain with nothing but a narrow road and lots of switch backs. Another white knuckle trip.

So when we left Ramona it was decided not to go back over the same route. We checked out the map and it looked like if we went south toward San Diago and then east on Interstate 8 it would be longer but not have the winding narrow roads to contend with.

Good thinking except we didn't bother to check the elevation, big mistake. We kept seeing the signs next to the road, 1000', 2000', 3000' and we kept climbing. We started to see snowflakes mixed with the rain as we went by what we found out later was the last exit off the highway for miles.

You guessed it: as soon as we went by that exit all @#%& broke loose. There was heavy wind and over a foot of snow on the road and we still had to climb another 1200'. By this time Dick's knuckles have lost all color and we are traveling in the only open lane about 15 miles per hour.

The blowing ice and snow was freezing on Dick's side window so he could not see out it and it was building up on the windshield wipers and we still had another 50 miles to go to get out of it.

Well, to make a long story short, we finally made it over the mountains in one piece and the picture below was taken a long time after we got out of the snow.

It was still raining when we got to Desert Hot Springs and set up, but Dick only got a little wet. At one time you could not see the bikes because of the build up of snow on them and we only added an extra 100 miles by going this route.

We went out the next day to do some shopping and had to get a picture of the contrast between the palm trees and the snow on the mountains. Being in a large valley that is surrounded by mountains is sure beautifull this time of the year.
One day this week we spent time at The Living Desert, just outside Palm Desert. Wow, what an experience!

This plant was alive with flowers. But most of the others were dormant. From the signs on the plants we felt like "should have been here in the spring"!

Wasn't this butterfly nice to hold still for Dick?

Watch where you sit as these are about 3" long and boy could they do damage.

This is our Christmas tree with all the presents under it on Christmas morning. If you look close you can see Jackie in her robe relaxing with her orange rolls and a cup of tea. Sorry to say that we had no kids and grandkids around it but we know that we are loved and missed. Does CC look content or what?

Christmas eve was fun as we went to a local Church for a 6:00 PM service and then back to the park for a sing-a-long with about 30 other people for about an hour and a half. We decided, so we could say we did it, to go swimming and soaking in the hot tubs after the sing-a-long.

Question time again. Can you tell us where we are with this shot? Don't jump to conclusions, look close.

To be continued...


Guy said...

my guess would be at the Museum???
Happy trails from the snow country. Yes a drive through the snow the first few times is kinda ruff............grin
Love U and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Looks like we are heading for Yuma soon. Through Salt Lake and Laughlin....maybe see you??

Deanna said...

Thanks for the story! I read it to folks here at Linda's and everyone was impressed and glad to not be in your shoes.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you told us this AFTER you made it. Congrats on driving through such miserable conditions.

I'm with U. Guy about the museum. It looks like a shot of an old homestead in miniature.

Amy said...

Except for the driving part, it sounds wonderful.