Friday, May 28, 2010

Weather Woes

We left Billings, Montana yesterday under gray skies but warm temperatures and things only went down from there. The sun was never seen during the entire days driving and after awhile the precipitation started. At first we had a very light mist, so light that I couldn't even use the intermittent wipers, but the mist slowly got heavier and eventually became rain. At the same time, we were gaining altitude, but we didn't realize it or the ramifications of climbing. The temperature kept falling as we traveled and soon the rain was mixed with something icy.

Do you remember my comments a few days ago about the failure of the motorhome heater core and how I would wait until we got back home to fix it? That was a mistake in judgment! Without the heater, there is no defroster. With no defroster, Helen had to wipe the condensation off the windshield almost constantly.

The precipitation was now turning to full snow, but I assured Helen that there was no problem as the snow would melt when it hit the road. That was another error in judgment, for soon the snow was, indeed, sticking to the road.

This is very early in the snow storm. Later, the road that was not hit by tires had about two inches of slushy snow.

This is Helen's view of the road just after she wiped the glass.

I tried to run the generator to run the heat pump to get more heat in the camper, but it wouldn't run because I was too low on fuel. The generator fuel pick-up is higher in the tank so there will always be a quarter tank to drive on. We stopped in Browning to fill up. The wind was blowing very briskly and the temperature was down to 33. The gas station was crowded with people filling up their cars and trucks. Helen heard inside that they were expecting as much as a foot in this freakish storm. OH BOY!!!!!

After we filled up, Helen wanted to stop and I wanted to press on to a descent campground. I was driving, so I won. I thought that with a foot of snow, we might be in the campground for a while. Again, as a flatlander I didn't realize the consequences of altitude fully. A short time later we passed the Continental Divide and we headed down hill. Soon we were below the snow line and, in fact, left the precipitation behind. A few miles later on we pulled into Glacier Meadows RV Park. The people there are very nice and soon we were in a site with the electricity connected.

The view from the campground is fabulous. There were elk in the field in the morning and when Helen walked the dogs later, a deer flashed by her. We were also told to not let the dogs run free as there was a wolf in the area. It's OK to play with them off-leash in the field, but don't let them roam in the woods.

The presence of a number of hummingbirds surprised us in this cold climate. As this picture was taken the temperature was around 36 degrees. The woman who keeps several feeders told me this morning that they emptied all the feeders yesterday. I guess they can handle the cold, but require a lot of fuel.

At this point I have ordered a replacement heater core. I wanted overnight shipment, but this area is not covered with Saturday delivery. Monday is a holiday, so I very probably will not see the core until Tuesday. If I'm locked in this campground for so many days, I had darned better end up with some elk pictures.

More later.

1 comment:

  1. WOW...snow!! What a STORY! Not sure we are prepared for that...but we do live in a cold we might be ok!