Wednesday, November 25, 2009
We went to Canyon City this past Sunday for services at St. Thomas. We woke up to blowing and drifting snow and I knew we were in for a fun ride. Going up Highway 26 on any day is an adventure since it is so lightly traveled once you get past Brogan, 25 miles northwest of Vale. The main highway is US 20 that goes to Burns and then on to Bend and Eugene. It is the main east-west highway across the center of Oregon and gets lots of traffic. US 26 goes east to west as well but is not as good a road especially in the winter. When it snows on Sunday morning it takes a while for the crews to get to 26 because 20 is the priority. Consequently, early Sunday morning trips up US 26 can be an adventure. When we left town at 8 am there was an inch or two of snow on the road and as we went along it got deeper until it was 4 to 5 inches deep. Fortunately, it wasn't too slick for the studded snow tires, but I could see that Jean was getting a little nervous. Never fear, I told her, we'll get to plowed road pretty soon. Sure enough, we met the snowplow in Cow Valley (7 miles past Brogan). From there on, the roads were ok, still snow packed but well sanded and plowed. On the way back, 3 hours later, most of the snow had melted off and the roads were great. Winter travel in Eastern Oregon can be very interesting.