A Very Unparked Domain
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Snow Weasles

We are snow weasles. We have gone to GREAT lengths on this trip to avoid snow.


  • I filled my lifetime quota for snow and cold during the 4 years I lived in Montreal.
  • Neil is from the South. That’s the capital-S South. He’s a great driver, but I still don’t see any need to put him into winter driving conditions.
  • We don’t have snow tires on the Mini.
  • Our whole trip is about seeking out optimum climates for my health. At this point, snow isn’t what we’re looking for.
  • The best reasons of all: because we can.

In our first year on the road, we packed two sets of suitcases: our really warm weather clothes, and our luke-warm weather clothes (i.e., long sleeves and long pants). And we’d winter in relatively temperate climes.

In spring and fall, we’d make a trip past our storage unit and swap out the suitcases. The system worked out well, except that our annual counterclockwise migration pattern was turning into a figure-eight shape necessitated by the twice annual trip to Virginia.

This year we decided to be daring!

Come late summer / early fall, we found ourselves in Madison, Wisconsin. Our original plan dictated we’d double back almost 1000 miles to Richmond for the winter suitcase and continue from there. But we were so close to my family in Western Canada, we decided to keep going North and West, and forget about the winter suitcase.

Thus we found ourselves in BC, in late October, plotting out a route to New Mexico, with no winter clothes and no snow tires…and snow projected for every mountain pass we expected to drive through.

Over the past week we have been racing the snow through the Rockies, arriving in towns in Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado either right before or just after the snow. To passers-by we must look like high-velocity homeless people, because we’re wearing almost all the clothes we own layered one atop the other.

We look more and more like the Franklin Expedition, but at least so far we don’t taste like the Donner Party.

(Yes, in theory we could buy warmer clothes, but we’d have to throw something else out, because there’s no more room in the Mini!)

We finally saw snow this weekend in Taos, New Mexico. Just enough to scare the dickens out of us, but not enough to stay on the roads.

The crazy driving, on top of Neil’s crazy programming schedule right now, plus adjusting to altitudes of as much as a mile and a half above sea level, have us pretty worn out. (I extend our apologies to the friends to whom we owe email or comment responses; I’m so tired I can hardly see straight.) In another few days life should settle down for us, at least as far as the driving part goes.

We’ve learned our lesson: the all-year-tire / all-year-suitcase system works just fine, but we don’t want to cut our timing quite this close to snow season next year.

Besides, our plans got delayed for the very best of all possible reasons: the chance to spend time with some very important people that we don’t get to see very often. (But not all of them! That requires even better planning, or better weather. We’re working on that.)

We’re look forward to improving our planning next fall, and in the meantime, we continue to endeavour to be snow weasles.

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1 Kerry Ludwa { 11.18.09 at 5:03 pm }

I understand, after moving back from Chicago I feel like winter stalks me anytime I get close to an area where snow is possible. My best friend Chrystie is getting married on the 28th in Michigan (Thompsonville). No snow forecasted yet but I’m waiting for the forecast to change as soon as I get off the plane. Rest up and safe travels.

2 David Soderlund { 02.03.10 at 1:17 am }

I found you!! Looks like I will be buying a home in or near Sleepy Hollow, NY(Yes, THAT Sleepy Hollow.) You should come for Halloween, or anytime you like for that matter. Lisa and I road trip on occasion. We could even come to you. Either way, it’s been far too long between visits.

3 neil { 02.03.10 at 1:22 am }

It has been too long!

Do the tights come with the sword?

4 Jamie { 12.23.11 at 6:44 pm }

I think I want to get away from snow and ice every now and then, but – without snow, there’s no skiing, which is SO FUN!