Mylove and I left Big Sandy, TX around 8 AM on Sunday, October 12 with the intentions of driving straight through to South Fork, CO. I was towing our CRV behind my truck so we knew it was going to be a long day. Reality set in around Childress. We would drive to Raton, NM and stay the night, get up early Monday morning and be in South Fork by Noon. As we were passing through Amarillo, I got a text from a buddy of mine wishing us safe travels through the SNOW we were headed into…. What the heck! I had checked the weather in South Fork before departing and all was well. We had been driving in the rain for most of the day and I noticed the temperature was a little cooler every time I stopped for fuel or to walk our dog, Skipper. Confidently, I told Mylove “Aw it’ll be fine. We’ll just have to drive a little slower.” About that time a snow plow and sand truck passed us on 287 North headed toward Dumas, and then we passed a flashing sign warning of ice on the bridges. I checked my trucks thermometer and it read 32 degrees. Hummm? Mylove “suggested” that we get something to eat in Dumas and check for weather travel advisories on our route through Texas to Raton. Following a quick search of weather.com I learned that an early season blizzard was barreling south through the plains of Colorado and New Mexico right where we were headed and travel advisories were issued for both states. A few helpful tips if you’re traveling with pets and are staying in Dumas, TX (1) Holiday Inn Express, Dumas is not pet friendly, but the staff were very helpful in directing us to the La Quinta Inn & Suites right next door, (2) be sure to remove your laptop from the car and take to your room with the rest of the luggage and you won’t be out in 30 degree weather at 3 AM because you woke up in a panic remembering that you had left it in the car, and (3) check the weather for your complete trip route.
At 8:30 the following morning, we checked out of La Quinta, made a quick fuel stop and continued on our way. By the time we reached New Mexico, the roads were clear with the remaining snow being relegated to the sides of the highway. We made our final fuel / restroom stop at Sierra Grande Café, just east of Des Moines, NM.. (If you are passing by this way, their sopapillas are some of the best that I have had). We arrived in Raton, NM around Noon where we exited onto I 25 N toward Trinidad, CO. Off to the west of I 25 we could see the Sangre de Christo’s as well as the Spanish Peaks were covered with snow from about 9,000 feet up. The fall foliage in the high country, for the most part, had been replaced with a blanket of white. We continued north on I 25 to the Walsenburg exit where we pick up Highway 160 west toward South Fork. As we approached La Veta Pass, we could see the burned area from the 2018 Spring Fire was now covered with snow, hiding most of charred trees and ground. As we descended the pass into the San Luis Valley, we left the snow from the previous day’s storm behind. Two hours and 90 miles later we arrived in South Fork. It’s 4 PM. I get out of the truck, smell the fresh air and take a look around. Everything was perfect, just like I left it. Ahhh…..I’m back in South Fork!