Locals are saying that the snows this winter, albeit late in arriving in the 3rd week of December, are more than they’ve had in at least 5 years. We’re late in leaving for our
“endless summer” sojourns so we’ve warily tried to embrace the white wonderland with a modicum of enthusiasm and longer pants.
Several feet of snow and sub-freezing temps are not foreign to Durango, but it’s been since 1991 (with the single exception of late 2000 when an Atlantic passage spared one of us the humility of long pants) that we’ve “enjoyed” winter in Durango. Surely shoveling snow is a skill like riding a bicycle, but shoveling in shorts is harder than riding in shorts.
Eager anticipation and optimistic planning forecast an outing with our grandgirls (arriving on the 20th of December) to cut our own xmas tree in the National Forest with the permit duly acquired. The night the girls and their mother, Erica, arrived, Durango got the snows they would have preferred pre-Thanksgiving as a guarantee for a white Christmas.
Not only did we have to abandon any hope of venturing up a Forest Service road, but the fund-raising tree lot closed the night before as well — a consequence of too much snow, too cold weather and only too little (tiny) trees left.
The back-up plan was retrieving the artificial tree stored since December 2000 along with all the other holiday trappings that haven’t seen the light of winter since New Year’s 2001. Everyone was relieved we didn’t have to travel any farther than a storage garage in order to secure the center point of the holiday festivities, although the real thing would have made for a super adventure.
But before we get on with the visitors from Portland, we need to give the farthest-travelled credit to the English Georges, all 8 of them who came for a family gathering with the Colorado Georges, all 9 of them, plus a handful of outlaws. This makes for quite a collection in one home, even if seven of them are children. We’ve hosted them twice, once before our Portland family arrived and then again for Christmas Eve. (photo only shows adults as the kids were sequestered next door at our niece’s condo for dinner) Included below is a rare family photo of this reunion. The youngest two lap-sitters, Oliver and Inari, are from Colorado and kept everyone entertained and busy.
Gatherings galore for the Georges included a surprise birthday party for my sister, Donna, where almost 30 folks shifted into surprise mode offsite, with home-made pizzas and sommelier-chosen fine wines. The grandgirls made it to this event and even got to design a custom pizza for the oven.
Snow continued right thru Christmas Day leaving 26″ of fresh powder at Purgatory, our ski area 24 miles up the highway, and another 8″ in Durango. Both our snowmen sit and still stand tall on the condo deck, surely surviving into the new year.
Only downside going into this holiday is that the 3 solar projects that just came online have panels buried in snow and are less-than-satisfactorily producing any photovoltaics. Ours is more accessible and has been cleared twice so far.