Sunday, December 27, 2009

Colorado Christmas Tales part 5

This is the last of the Colorado Christmas Tales for this year.

In 1989 we were going to El Paso for Christmas. We were going to go skiing at Taos first. So early one morning before Christmas, we got the kids up at 4 a.m. and bundled them into the van. And I do mean 'bundled'. For the entire week before we left, the temperature in Colorado Springs had been below zero. All day, 24 hours a day. So the kids were dressed in their ski clothes, long underwear and bibs and wool socks, and jackets, hats and gloves, and snow boots. Then they were enclosed in sleeping bags, belted in, and they tried to make themselves comfortable with all that extra padding surrounding them. Their heads promptly disappeared into the sleeping bags! The dog wasn't so lucky, she curled up on a seat and tried to stay warm.

The van was running long before we left, the heat was turned up on high. It would have been better if the heat could of been higher. Clyde and I climbed into the front seats, wearing all of our ski clothes, I had a sleeping bag wrapped around me too. We set off south to New Mexico.

It soon became clear that the heater wasn't putting out any warm air. It felt more like an airconditioner. The inside of the windows kept frosting over. We had to keep stopping and use a credit card to scrape off the ice on the inside of the van windows so that we could see where we were going. Luckily for us, the van didn't have a thermometer to tell us how cold it was, or we probably would have gone home and back to bed in a warm house.

By the time we reached Raton Pass, we were wondering if this was a good idea. The heater had been blasting for over 3 hours, and our breaths were still freezing on the inside of the windshield.
But the top of Raton Pass was the changing point. As we dropped down out of the mountains into Raton, New Mexico we quickly shed all of the outer layers, and were soon sweating because of all the heat eminating from the heater. We went from below zero to about 40 in 15 minutes!

What a change!

We went on to Taos for skiing, and then on to El Paso for Christmas. And when we came home, it was much warmer than when we left!.

On another note, Christmas is officially over here. All the presents are unwrapped, the kids have gone home, and it's just me and Clyde again. Quiet is so nice after all the commotion. But I wouldn't have missed all the commotion for anything. The little ones were SO excited! And we had a great gathering with friends and family on Saturday, even though I was ready for bed at 11 p.m. and so was everyone else!

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