To get back home to Indianapolis, the most direct route would have been for me to travel northward to Flagstaff, Arizona, then east on Route 66/I-40. However, the record-setting snow in that area has made the roads difficult for travelers. Repeated advisories have said that only those vehicles having chains or four wheel drive should attempt the mountainous and icy roads. My Kia Sedona has neither. And so, in order to get home I found that I had to go further south, then east, before I can head north. This added a couple of hundred miles to my trip.

detour signThis leg of the trip was pleasant, and I saw the sun for several hours, for the first time in days. The desert-like terrain and the snow-capped mountains in the distance were reminders of how different the landscape is from that of Indiana.

It had been in the 50’s when I left the Phoenix area in the morning, but by the time I stopped at a rest area in the mountains of southwestern New Mexico the temperature had dropped to the 30’s. I overheard several people talking about the possibility of another storm this evening and decided to push on. I decided to stop at about 6:30 p.m. and pulled into the town of Deming, New Mexico for the night. Good thing, too. Within 30 seconds of turning off the ignition the clouds sent down a blast of sleet and wind!

--Larry Spears [Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010]