Talk about a nightmare of a day. We put off leaving for Virginia one day so that my mom & dad could take the kids to Build-A-Bear to get their bears stuffed since it was a Christmas gift from them. Since we were leaving on the 27th instead of the 26th, we really had to try to book it to VA.
Well, of course the 26th was GORGEOUS & the 27th was miserable. It snowed 9+ inches the morning we were supposed to leave. We got up at 5 am, got the kids ready & in the van & took off anyway. Let me remind you we have a powerless mini-van & that we were pulling a large U-Haul trailer behind us. The roads were covered in snow & ice. We couldn't even get to Main St. in Spanish Fork without dancing all over the road. We didn't know what to do.
Big O Tires opened up at 7am so we waited in their parking lot until they opened. The kids were cold & tired & I honestly wasn't in the best of spirits either. Luckily I've got the calmest husband in the world. Big O didn't sell chains for tires, but they do install them. So my dad showed up in his 4 wheel truck & took Trek to Auto Zone (which didn't open until 8) to buy chains. They brought them back & Big O installed the chains on our tires. It took another 30 minutes.
It was now passed 9 am (almost 4 hours after we had planned to leave.) We drove up the main road in Spanish Fork to the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon & STILL couldn't maintain ground. We were all over that road even with chains on the tires. Back to Big O we went & a LOVELY $1200.00 later, we had four new SNOW tires on our van as well as those wonderful chains we had already paid them to install. This trip was costing a fortune.
We officially left Spanish Fork at 10:15 am. . . over 5 hours after we were supposed to leave. We made it through the canyon alright once we got the new tires put on. It was still slick, but we didn't feel like we were going to die (like we did before.) At Green River, we were even able to take the chains off our tires.
You have NO IDEA how happy we were to see the
"Welcome to Colorful Colorado"
sign as we crossed the border. Sure, it was just as snowy & icy there, but at least we made it out of Utah.
Our joy was short-lived. We hit a horrible blizzard going through the Rocky Mountains & to this day I still thank my Heavenly Father for getting us through those passes alive. We were over 12,000 feet above sea level in the tops of one of the largest mountain ranges in America. We're talking Vale & several other ski resorts. . . it was insanely NOT SAFE DRIVING CONDITIONS up there. Our van's windshield wipers stopped working right in the middle of it to make matters worse. I can't even count how many prayers were said by myself, Trek, & the girls during those critical 3 hours in the Rockies. I thought we wouldn't make it through without wrecking the van or the trailer. But our prayers were answered. We made it to Denver at about 9 pm & found that the hotel we pre-booked was absolutely AMAZING for the price. The kids had a BLAST running around the hotel. The breakfast was pretty amazing too.
We survived Day 1. . . only 4 more days to go.