Sunday, February 21, 2010

Arizona has more snow than Cypress

We started off this morning with sunshine, +18, blue skies and are now in the midst of a minor blizzard. And yes, we're still in Arizona.

First things first. We decided that driving over Hoover Dam and taking a boat ride nearby was not quite sufficient to grasp the magnitude of the dam's coolness. So this morning, at Jaxon's insistance, we took a tour of part of the dam. I've got to say, had I not taken the tour, I don't think I would have realized what a truly incredible feat of engineering the dam is. The massive project took six companies, including 3500 men at any given time, five years to build and was completed two years ahead of its projected end date. I dare you to find a developer in Vancouver who finishes a project two years early. On the list of innovations that made this marvel possible, there was included using smaller cubes of concreate instead of one massive slab, using cooling pipes to help the concrete cure quicker and issuing hard hats. Hard to believe hard hats were considered a major innovation once upon a time, isn't it?

We left Hoover Dam all aglow from the sunshine and excitement of the experience and headed down the highway towards the Grand Canyon area. After awhile, Gerry pointed out that there was snow in the mountains but they were off in the distance so we convinced ourselves that it would be OK. Now to be clear, we've been leary of the weather at Grand Canyon for the last week but haven't been able to get a straight answer from anyone about if we should go at all or what to expect weather-wise. We decided we're tough enough, hailing from Alberta's winters and we'd be fine. Cool in Arizona couldn't really mean "cold", could it?

By the time we approached Williams, about 100km south of the Canyon, snow was pelting (yes, pelting) our windshield and the wind was blowing snow across the highway. Needless to say, we abandoned our plans of continuing north to the Flintstone RV Park and hunkered down in Williams instead. Luckily, we've got wifi and cable tonight and our furnace has been running nearly continously since we stopped.

Nevertheless, we figure we've made it this far, we'll head up to the Canyon tomorrow, hop out of our van, take some pictures, admire the view (which hopefully won't be too snowy) and then hop back in our van and promptly head south to warmer climes. We'll see how that goes.

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