The forecast had been correct, it had snowed all night. No early morning calls to say “stay at home”,
the 0430 alarm sounds and the bus driver stumbles into action ….. a quick peek and its still snowing.
The coffee brews.

All the early morning rituals are gone through and the decision is to leave 10 mins early and get a
feel of just how bad it is out there. Second coffee done so out in the blizzard and remove the snow off
the hood which is about 12″ deep,clean all the windows and seeing bits along with lights front and
back which are all covered.

The good old Cadi bursts into life at 7F and off I go with the inside of the screen now freezing due to
my inconsiderate breathing. Past the bank which is showing 0526 and 5F and the gas station which
has banged up fuel prices yet again to 3.69 a gallon with their 75c rise in the last two weeks ?

The windscreen begins to clear as I cross the bridge and climb the hill out of town on snow packed
roads. I pass the Dolores bus barn and nothing seems to be happening there…. snow day ?? Lights
up ahead and a giant tow truck is trying to rescue an 18 wheeler who has slid off the road on the
corner ! ……. this is going to be fun!

Down into Cortez and unusually they have actually had quite a bit of snow. Bus Barn at 0545 and 10″
on the ground here. With all that snow on the hood some serious shovelling before it was light
enough to open and check inside for all the pre trip items. On the road at 0605 and through the center
of town. Looks like the town uses its own plows and not the giant state ones. They have cleared the
main lanes but the left turn lanes out of the median are now full of snow although some idiots are
trying to use them !!

Leaving town the roads seem clearer and by the time I leave the main road for my start point I’m
thinking they have only had a couple of inches tops. Up at my start point on Road 17 its blowing snow
and drifting and my local earthmoving scraper is doubling up again as the plow. He actually
“overplows” with his huge blade and this fills in the ditch on both sides of these narrow county roads
which can often look like a 4 lane freeway but are in fact a narrow strip of blacktop, ditches and a lot
of beanfield!!!

Somewhere here is CR 17  

Now you might think this is bad and wonder about my sanity or that of the parents entrusting their very
young offspring to rally driver, trials rider, Brit, but this was easy compared to the pre Christmas early
morning dump.

Same road at 0645 in the pre Christmas blizzard

About two days later with precious little thawing and no more plowing the roads looked like this.

Ice with drifting snow on top…… what fun

Well after the Monday morning debacle not much happened for the rest of the week and things started
to melt even getting back to brown fields and the thought of what they used to look like when they were
green. Mini storms come and go but snowfall is fairly light just giving overnight dustings and then
melting by day.

Down south snow in Phoenix AZ, and our forecast is for nothing special but overnight it does snow.
I check the forecast and its showers with no significant accumulations for today but as I drive round
the morning 71 miles of action packed children transportation this is clearly not the case! Driving
conditions are less than stellar and the “lead foot” brigade are slipping and sliding everywhere. By
the time I’m home a fresh fall of 3″ and they are rapidly correcting their forecast.

Not again!!

This lot quickly melts by afternoon and its all gone again and good for me as I’m on a “double header”
this weekend with 2 drives to Telluride taking the Cortez kids on Saturday and then the Dolores team
on Sunday. Saturday the roads are CLEAR, well up to Rico at 9000′ and then its snow pack up over
the Lizard and all the way to Mountain Village and their drop off at Big Billie’s. Within the hour it starts
snowing heavily and lasts for 4 hours dumping about 6″.  Home time at 1600 and surprizingly the
roads are reasonably clear……. but that doesn’t last long and I’m in whiteout conditions climbing the
Lizard at 10,000′. down the other side with care and down through Rico where it clears up and its
clear dry roads all the way back to Cortez. Refuelling and bus cleaning and I’m home just before
1900 and no sooner into my first coffee when her ladyship tells me to look out the window…….. Its
coming down in buckets and far too nasty for dog walking. One hour later and another unexpected
3″ on the rail and temperatures are plumetting so this won’t melt before tomorrow’s second trip!

Sunday morning, no change, yes its been plowed, the temp is a bracing 1F, its bright and glassy in
the headlights and VERY slippery. Snow pack the entire way  but we make it and apart from the cold
its a gorgeous morning with about 8″ of new snow over the Lizard, not a track in sight and its all

Sunday morning, at Big Billie’s not a cloud in the sky, and tons of fresh


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  • 2/26/2013 8:33 AM Bob Midmer UK wrote:
    Good one Tony we have just had a torrid week with 3 inches, but to see what you all have to put up with is something else.
    Reply to this
  • 2/26/2013 5:50 PM Scott wrote:
    Tony,I could think of know one better to drive that bus.In the many things that you,ve done,the trials riding would really come into play as you know how to negotiate the slick stuff and where to find good grip! Kudos.
    Reply to this
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