Winter for me has always been an odd time of year. When I worked seasonally with the National Park Service I would be between things, doing odd jobs, applying for work the next season and to some degree working on photographs from the previous year. Now that I work for Houston’s Parks and Recreation Department my season schedule is much more in line with the elementary school year. And since the school was closed for two weeks around Christmas most of that time at the office was spent getting ready for the spring. Repurposing an under-utilized room, cleaning out cabinets that haven’t been properly emptied in years, planning the schedule, searching for baseball equipment researching possible destinations for our senior citizen bus trips, and the like. Houston doesn’t really get “winter” in the same sense that I’m used to from living in Upstate New York and in the mountains of Arizona. While it’s chilly the heaviest coat I wear here is a waterproof jacket that I bought while working with blimps and needed something for those nights we got down near freezing in June in New Jersey.
When I went west to work at Dinosaur National Monument in Moffat County Colorado I ran into snow in May. Since I was coming from New York the obvious route would have been to cross to Wyoming and then swing south from I 80 to Walden and Steamboat Springs. Rather than have to deal with snow in the spine of the Rockies I chose instead to follow I 80 further west and come south through Baggs to Craig and then westward on US 40. Even that route was fairly snowy, and not heavily plowed. By the time I reached Craig the storm had cleared (or I’d dropped enough in elevation) and the run to Dinosaur was clear from that point. After I’d checked in at Housing I drove down to Rangely to get groceries and headed back to the Park. It was only about 350 miles and a good day of driving once free of the snow.
I’ve never seen Dinosaur in snow really. There were some light flurries in October while I was there but I was gone before the snow really fell. My goal is to get there again next winter. Sadly, the really interesting areas are difficult to impossible to reach in snow. It would be wonderful to see Steamboat Rock from inside Echo Park in snow, but short of a 30 mile round trip on a snow mobile with an elevation change of about 2000 feet it’s not going to happen. Until then we have to make due with summer and fall images like these.
Further images of Dinosaur National Monument and Moffat County Colorado can be found on my website.
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