Winter Weather Window

By | 15 January 2016

This is a photo essay of coming home through a winter weather window. The trip began in Ajo AZ and ended in Oliver BC in December 2015. The photos are a sample of what we saw along the way.

Day One – all Arizona

We headed out of Ajo AZ and up the Joshua Tree Parkway ending the day in the Golden Valley on AZ 68 just NorthWest of Kingman.

lunch stop on Joshua Tree Parkway

2015-12-15 11.46.49 – lunch stop on Joshua Tree Parkway

truck and trailer in Golden Valley

2015-12-15 17.52.17 – stopped for the night in Golden Valley

We won’t be taking this route northbound again because of the up and down topography. Pretty, yes. Worthwhile, no. We’ll go back to our tried and true Ajo through Parker to Needles. Yep, California here we come … next time.

Day Two – across the Colorado through Vegas to Alamo

Out of Golden Valley, down the long descent to the Colorado, up the other side to meet US 95 northbound. I know, we could have taken US 93 – this is a just a matter of preference and habit. Through Vegas to the US 93 exit North of the city and on up to Alamo NV.

truck and trailer at Alamo NV

2015-12-16 14.49.28 – Alamo NV campsite – sometimes you are first

We got in before three in the afternoon. Others arrived before dark. They were all going South.

Day Three – Alamo north to Jackpot

Our weather window was barely open today. I was hoping to make Jackpot before the snow came.

truck and trailer on the side of the highway in Nevada

2015-12-17 08.51.19 – somewhere in Nevada

truck and trailer at the side of the highway

2015-12-17 08.51.25 – same time, same place, different view

Maybe no falling snow today … then again, maybe … five hours between these photos.

along a Nevada highway - will it snow

2015-12-17 13.09.45 – will it snow in Nevada today?

Parked in Jackpot – safe and sound. Weather report says the storm will hit tonight.

truck and trailer parked in snow

2015-12-17 16.31.11 – parked in snow in the Jackpot NV campsite

Day Four – Jackpot through Boise and over the Blue Mountains

Today is our window. There was snow yesterday in the Blue Mountains and they expect more tomorrow. We get through today or we put on chains or we sit and wait.

black ice on the highway

2015-12-18 08.51.13 – somebody is having a bad day

This is on the road from Jackpot north to Twin Falls. It didn’t snow in Jackpot last night. Up ahead there are flashing lights. I slowed down to pass by and when I accelerated (gently) the automatic anti-skid system in the truck responded. Look at the picture. That is black ice. It is not water. If it hadn’t been for the emergency vehicles, I would not have slowed down and I would not have known the road condition. There were three more in the ditch in a ten-mile stretch.

roads in downtown Twin Falls

2015-12-18 09.25.23 – in downtown Twin Falls

Twin Falls ID got snow last night.

icy roads in Twin Falls

2015-12-18 09.26.03 – more Twin Falls

Let’s hope this is as bad as it gets today. It’s not my first time pulling a trailer on roads like this, but I don’t do it by choice.

on I-84 west out of Twin Falls

2015-12-18 09.30.46 – on I-84 out of Twin Falls

It could be worse. If this is as bad as it gets today, we’ll get through the window.

along I-84 south of Boise

2015-12-18 10.07.55 – improving – still on I-84 closer to Boise and lunch

I-84 through Boise

2015-12-18 12.54.27 – passing through Boise

I-84 into the Blue Mountains

2015-12-18 13.41.30 – climbing into the Blue Mountains

I-84 in the Blue Mountains

2015-12-18 14.38.13 – looking good

approaching La Grande OR

2015-12-18 15.24.55 – approaching La Grande

We’re holding 55 mph and the road is simply wet – no falling snow, no ice. On a dry day, we would be doing 60 mph. I don’t mind driving according to conditions.

passed by freight haulers

2015-12-18 15.38.15 – they have more rubber on the road than we do

They are not going much faster than we are but they do have more rubber on the road.

Cabbage Hill descent ahead

2015-12-18 15.46.31 – approaching Cabbage Hill

clearing weather ahead

2015-12-18 15.47.23 – clearing ahead – on the descent

coming into Pendleton

2015-12-18 15.56.19 – off at the next exit for the night

Day Five – Pendleton OR to Oliver BC

We are through the window and all we have to do today is finish this trip.

There are no more photos.

We spent the morning of Day Five in dense fog. It didn’t clear until we were North of Moses Lake.

The rest of the day was ho-hum.



Plan carefully. Go when the Winter Weather Window is open.



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