We escaped the snow in Seattle, but it caught up with us in New Mexico!
Sarah and I are in Carlsbad, NM today. We were hoping to visit Carlsbad Caverns National Park today, but it is closed for the day because it SNOWED here last night! Yesterday, we drove through White Sands National Monument and commented that the white gypsum sand looked just like snow. Little did we know we would be seeing the real stuff later on! The weather turned bad right as we were driving into Carlsbad. The winds were so strong going through the desert, that it looked like our car was being attacked by tumbleweeds. All the crevices on our car and bikes are now filled with the seeds and stalks of various desert plants. After sampling some authentic New Mexican food in Carlsbad, we made it to Brantley Lake State Park and set up our tent for the night. We could barely get our tent up and staked down in the horrific winds, but we finally did and except for the fact that the winds made it sound like the tent was going to be ripped apart, we made it through the night safe and sound. We were actually pretty cozy in our mummy bags, so we were surprised to see snow all over the ground when we woke up! We decided to pack up our tent and were greeted by a temperature of 22 degrees with a windchill of 9. We definitely weren’t planning on experiencing weather like this on our southern road trip! We packed up the tent as quickly as we could. Sarah was leaping around like a startled feline the whole time and said it was “so cold that her stomach hurt.” We hopped back in the car and drove back to Carlsbad, listening to the local weathermen discuss how to drive on snow and telling everyone to stay safe and warm at home. I guess that means stay in the car for us, since that is where we live now. It feels like a snow day in Minnesota here since the schools, government offices, and the parks are all closed, but we decided to stick it out for one more day here so we can see the park tomorrow. After that, we are going to head for Big Bend National Park on the Texas/Mexico border where we may do our first bike tour. Then Austin, TX is the last stop on our road trip and after that we will be spending some time with our families before we leave for New Zealand.
Here is our current plan.
December 11-12: Drive to Fargo, ND
December 13- 17: Fargo, ND
December 18-20: Minneapolis, MN
December 21-22: Drive to Wilmington, NC
December 23 - 27: Wilmington, NC
December 28: Fly to New Zealand!