There goes Year 12. Can’t believe another winter sojourn is behind us. Well, the “sojourn” is over. Winter, however, is still very much with us. We left sunny southern Arizona about 2 weeks ago. The run north wasn’t bad — we managed to stay between the storms for the most part.
Three days after pulling up stakes on the Sonoran Desert we were at the border. For the first time in a very long time there was hardly any lineup. For too many years I-15 has been a parking lot south of Sweet Grass and it has often taken 2 to 3 hours to get back home across the fence.
This year, a major surprise. Canada Customs had 3 lanes open for non-commerical traffic (a first in some time). It took about 21 minutes to reach the Customs booth and less than 2 minutes to be processed back into The Great White North.
We spent a couple of nights at the Lions RV Park in Warner decompressing from our trip. We checked the weather online and decided that a move to the Bridgeview RV park at Lethbridge was definitely in order as more snow/bad weather was on its way. Three years ago, in April 2008, we spent a week at that park in one of Alberta’s famous blizzards. It wasn’t so bad this time — we only had to hole up for 3 nights.
We did have a lovely visit with Jean & Doug, along with a great homecooked meal. We’d hoped to connect with other Chapter 44 folks but getting home became a priroity once we saw a small window of opportunity.
We arrived home — well, not exactly “home” — about 10:45 last Monday morning. There was so much snow we couldn’t even pull the rig off the County road into our driveway. The grader operator had piled snow up to our approach all winter. Across the cattle guard our lane was nearly as full of snow — shaded by all the trees very little had melted (not that the temperature ever really got that high).
We waded on foot through deep snow into the yard to retrieve our snow-clearing equipment — in places it was more than 2 feet. And even thicker alongside the garage and on the deck. Oh, joy.
Gerry fired up the snowblower and I hauled out the shovels. Snowblowers are wonderful. But they’re not really designed to cut through ice and compacted snow. It took a lot of effort on his part to manhandle that machine. Meanwhile I was out in the sun digging out our approach. (Good thing I had lots of shovel practice this winter making concrete.) We both finished about the same time — almost 3 hours to the minute. That was one long job.
Gerry fired up the mighty Dodge and pulled the rig into the yard. There was still a good layer of ice below all the snow so backing up was tricky as the trailer wheels kept slip-sliding around but we finally got it done.
Sadly my beloved camera died just before we left Arizona so I have no photos to share of our great shovelling adventure. But the memory will be etched in my mind for some time to come.
We were two sore and tired puppies that night. Although we miss the south, it’s still good to be back. And to be making plans for next winter!