Remember Vacationpocalypse? The one where the roads flooded and I-5 closed for 36 hours? How about Vacationpocalypse II, where a 3 hour flight turned into 9 hours sitting on the airplane in an unplanned detour to a Wichita Falls, TX Air Force Base?
You’d think we would either stop going places that have weather, or stop traveling altogether, but when the opportunity for travel arises, we have a hard time turning it down =)
We recently returned from Vacationpocalypse III. Yes, another weather related adventure!
My husband had a work trip in Nevada, so we tagged along as usual. After his work was done, we planned to spend four nights in a little town in Utah, called Duck Creek Village. Duck Creek Village is very quaint (read: super tiny–the closest grocery store is 45 minutes away), and halfway between Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, and close to several other National Monuments. We rented a beautiful cabin, and planned out our busy (or what we thought were going to be busy) days.
The drive up the mountain (we were staying at an 8000′ altitude) was snowy, but plowed. We arrived at the cabin, excited to see “real” snow!
The first night it snowed…a lot. We decided to stay at the cabin to sled, build snowmen, and just play in the snow. The kids loved it and we all enjoyed sipping hot cocoa by the fire.
That night it snowed again…a lot…again We decided to try the trek to Bryce Canyon National Park, but it took us 2 hours to dig the truck out of the snow. We only spent a couple hours at the park, but it was glorious, and the kids got their coveted Junior Ranger badges, so all was well.
That night it snowed…a lot…again. We stayed in the next day. More snow play. We played in the igloo on the property. Yes, igloo.
Oh look! More snow!
So, Monday morning we were scheduled to leave. We packed up, cleaned out the fridge, tossed most of the food that wouldn’t survive the long drive, locked the door to the cabin and got into the truck. No sooner were we in the truck about to make the 10+ hour drive home when my mom called.
“Are you leaving?” she asked. I told her we were just about to drive out. “Check the roads,” she said, “According to the maps, they’re closed.” So, I checked the map. Main road down the mountain was indeed closed. I checked the back road. That one was also closed. We got out of the truck to figure out what to do next and immediately started getting pelted with snow. A freak blizzard. For reals. We couldn’t see in front of us more than a few feet, and the wind was blasting. Laughing (because sometimes that’s all you can do), I called the home’s owner and after a few phone calls with weather and traffic she called us back to say “Well, you’re officially snowbound. Enjoy another night in the cabin on us!”
We were happy to have one more day in gorgeous Duck Creek Village, and relieved to be off the road, but I had just thrown away a lot of food and there was no way to get to a grocery store. That day we nibbled on the food I had kept–chips and salsa, granola bars, trail mix, beef jerky, and water. We were definitely roughing it. Then, the power (AKA the heater) decided to go out. So there we were, it’s 7 degrees outside with a wind chill well below zero, huddled next to the small gas fireplace, eating beef jerky, waiting for the heater to start working again.
We couldn’t do much snow play that day–once the blizzard settled down, it left us with local neighbors whose 4 wheel drive heavy duty trucks couldn’t even make it out! Once the power came back on, we had movie day, and enjoyed the beauty of the snow falling outside. (And the warmth of the heater!)
The next morning was Tuesday and we were determined to leave. The main road was still closed (and would be, we later found out, for the next 72 hours), but there was a back road that opened up that morning and would take us through Zion National Park. We decided to give it a shot.
The snow was deep, but since we had 4 wheel drive we made it through. It took a little extra time to get home, but the road through Zion was AMAZINGLY gorgeous. We later found out that the snow storm we experienced was the largest one in the area in nearly a decade, and over the 5 days we were there, Duck Creek Village got 50 inches of snow!
So, we made it home, and don’t have another trip planned until close to summer. Hopefully it won’t be snowing then