february 26, 2005
marathon drive from utah to oklahoma

After getting a good night's rest, I was ready to get back on the road and back towards home, and left Cedar City at 10am. Not far east of Cedar City I was glad that I didn't get any further the night before, as there were just amazing amounts of snow in the mountains east of there. Here there was even more snow than there was at Echo Summit, with more than 10 feet of snow almost completely submerging highway signs. In some areas the road was covered with snow, which made travel difficult. I nearly got stuck at one point with my tires frantically spinning in the snow. Once I got east of the pass the snow rapidly decreased in coverage, and the ground was mostly bare by the time I got to US 89.

The drive down US 89 through Kanab and points east was interesting, with the brilliant red Vermillion Cliffs making for spectacular scenery. It was also fascinating driving over the deep canyon carved by the Colorado River in Page AZ, and seeing the cumulus clouds being generated by the power plant there. As I continued south towards Flagstaff I began to see natural cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds. These clouds contained a mix of rain and wet snow, with small hail mixed in as well. I even saw a flash of lightning out of these clouds. As I got into the higher elevations closer to Flagstaff, the precip had changed to all snow, and was covering the roads at times. I got out of the cloudiness upon arriving in Flagstaff, where the sun had come out - creating a blinding fog as it heated up the cold, wet roadways. I hit more intermittent rain and snow showers as I headed east on I-40 through northeastern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico, but didn't encounter any more once I crossed the Continental Divide.

Fast forwarding ahead several hours later, I got pulled over again by the Texas DPS near Vega TX. This time my license plate was fine, I was pulled over for going 72 mph in a 65 mph zone. The cop also wanted to search my car for drugs, so I told him that was fine. He then asked me if I was sure it was OK, and I told him - hey no problem, I've never touched drugs in my life. Once he heard that he decided not to do a search and sent me on my way.

By the time I crossed back into Oklahoma it was nearly 3am and I was very tired - too tired to make the final 2 1/2 hour drive back to Norman - so I stopped at a rest area and slept for 2 hours. I then proceeded on to Norman, finally getting home at 7:30am.

Starting mileage: 82886
Ending mileage: 84065

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