Day 8 – SNOW! In New Mexico?

I’ve decided that breaking our blog into overnight sections makes more sense right now.

April 29

After a very windy, rainy and cold night outside, we headed to New Mexico. It started snowing even before we left Texas. It wasn’t a big deal at first, because the ground temperature was still pretty high, so the snow wasn’t sticking. Once we reached New Mexico, it started sticking to the fields and ground. The roads were still clear for a while, but that was changing quickly as we gained altitude.

On the CB, the truckers said that part of I-40 near Albuquerque was closed due to an accident related to the snow. We decided that lower altitudes would be better and most of the middle of New Mexico along I-40 is at high altitude. So we picked Mills Canyon Rim campground in the Kiowa National Grasslands to stop for the night.

Mills Canyon Campground

We stopped in Tucucari for supplies and then headed north on Highway 54 to Logan and then Highway 39 to Roy. 

Even when we were in Tucumcari, a lot of ice was accumulating on the Fuso.

The section of Hwy 39 is the La Frontera del Llano Scenic Byway. So we hoped for a nice view along the way. 

Long story, short…

The snow got thicker, the amount on the road increased and finally visibility was extremely limited. 

By the time we passed through Mosquero, we were very concerned. 

When we finally reached Solano, we decided to stop. There were plow trucks coming through regularly, but the visibility and our lack of familiarity with the roads made it pointless to go on. The highs the next day were supposed to reach the 50’s. We didn’t think we would have a problem after the next morning. The best spot for us to camp was in the parking lot for the Solano Post Office. Since it was Saturday night, we figured that we were good until at least Monday morning, if need be.

Town is not a description I would use to describe Solano. It is a post office and collection of homes and farms. But, because there was a great place to park. We were relieved to stop. We even had a tiny bit of cellular signal, a real bonus. Thank goodness we changed over to Verizon. In the East, not an issue, but out West, especially in lightly populated areas, Verizon is the best.

About an hour after we pulled in, a U-haul pulling an SUV also pulled into the parking lot behind us. There was a car following it. After a series of door openings and closings, the driver left the U-haul behind and rode off in his friend’s vehicle. We had a quiet evening otherwise.

The next morning, we were woke up a little late and were able to get out easily. 

The plows had been at it and the snow had stopped, so everything looked better. 

There was still a lot of snow on the roads. We headed up to the turn off for the campground. It would have been a challenge getting into it today, much less last night. The highway only had about one car width of road clear.

We took a good road down into a different canyon and had very nice views. After unsuccessfully doing outdoor activities, we decided to visit a few towns to see what they had to offer.


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