SE Arizona - The Snow Arrives (20 Feb 2013)

by AJ 20. February 2013 21:06

At dinner the night before Bob had told me I might have trouble finding a room in north Tucson because of the Accenture Golf Tournament.  He was prophetic because I got one of the last four rooms.  The place was crawling with golf fans anticipating Tiger's return to the tournament.  It was a fairly pleasant evening and hard to believe that a snow storm was imminent.

I had hoped to maybe be just enough ahead of the front to bird Catalina State Park on the way north and the prospects were looking OK when I checked out.  The road to Mt. Lemmon had already been closed and looking up that direction to a mountain enshrouded in clouds it made sense.  But we were much lower in elevation so there was hope.  It didn't take too many miles, however, before rain drops started falling and by time I got to the entrance to Catalina the wipers were on.  Being a wimp I couldn't see any reason to get cold and wet searching for a Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Onward.

Rather than deal with Interstate traffic, I took the scenic route through Florence.  The rain went from intermittent to steady and in places the desert had standing sheet water.  Just after I reached US Hwy. 60 east of Apache Jct. the heavy snow began.  The whole thing was a bit bizarre because this is a 65 mph highway and people were driving 30.  The roadway was just wet but I wonder if the curiosity of it all slowed folks down.  The heavy wet stuff began sticking to vegetation on the roadside.

It was about 11:00 am and there was time to try to meet Kurt for lunch of he was available so the plan became a judgement call based on what was happening by time I got into Mesa.  If it was still snowing, all bets were off and it was go to plan B.  Miraculously the rain and snow stopped although streets were flooded as I made my way to a safe spot to call Kurt.  About an hour later I got to spend a little time with number one son.

Later in the afternoon, while getting lost trying to find Dick and Gerry's house where I would be staying for a couple of weeks, I did manage to bump into a pair of Rosy-faced Lovebirds, the first I've seen since the ABA ruled they are now established in this area.  Lifer!

Watching the news was almost surreal.  The golf course in Tucson was covered with snow and play was suspended.  Friends Sheri and Tom were really getting hammered down in Bisbee.  No doubt Madera Canyon had been blanketed.  Mesa was chilly but snowless.



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