Our Christmas celebration didn’t exactly come together as planned this year.
Or maybe I should say that our Christmas plans evolved and changed quickly from day to day during the month of December. It was definitely a non-traditional Christmas.
We ended up making a very fast trip to Denver for the Christmas weekend. We had thought we would take off that whole week and go on to Arkansas from there, to visit my parents, but that didn’t work out.
Typically, a road trip to Denver takes us 15-16 hours driving time. It took us at least 3 hours longer than that this time, due to winter road conditions.
As it turned out, we followed a winter storm pretty much all along the way. The storm had moved through ahead of us, so we didn’t have to drive with falling snow, but the fresh snow and holiday weekend traffic made for not-so-ideal driving conditions.
The highlight of that day was our encounter with Big Horn sheep on the highway.
As always, we kept an eye out for wildlife and had earlier seen a large herd of elk on one mountainside. We rounded a bend on a Montana highway and could see something in the road ahead. I grabbed my phone to take pictures as Lyle slowed down. There were actually two sheep, but one was off to the side.
The highway traffic didn’t seem to perturb them much. They just nodded regally and said, “How do you do?” as we cruised past. Apparently there was some salt or something tasty on the road that they were after.
We had planned to drive most of the way on Saturday before Christmas (which my family calls Christmas Adam– the day before Christmas Eve, you understand). Due to worsening road conditions we decided it would be prudent to stop for the night when it got dark. And so… we drove all the daylight hours on Saturday… and all the daylight hours on Sunday… to get to Denver.
Then it was Christmas.
We had a lovely celebration with our little family early in the day. That evening we joined friends for a fun game night.
The next day we started home. More snow was predicted so we hoped to be ahead of that storm system. We didn’t quite manage that, but at least it wasn’t as severe as we were afraid it might be.
We saw temperatures as low as 26 degrees below zero. I felt sorry that Lyle had to pump gas when it was below zero but we didn’t have any trouble. The “check engine” light came on once, but Lyle was able to read the code and re-set it with no problems.
We were very grateful to make it safely home again. We are looking forward to seeing what adventures lie in store for us in 2018.