Sunday of last week I complained about the temperatures still being in the 90s in November. Today we rode north to Payson, to find the first snow of the season! It was 41° for a good part of the ride.
The last couple of days have held changeable weather. Friday night, as you recall, was so wonderful, with wind, rain, thunderstorms, and best of all, falling temperatures. The cold brought snow to the high country, and when we rode north to breakfast this morning, it was quite cold. I had on my winter riding clothes, including my heated jacket liner, and had the heated grips on high! My hands still got cold, but that always happens because I refuse to wear bulky gloves. When we got to Payson and arrived at the Crosswinds restaurant at Payson airport, this was the view:
We watched planes come in, and take off, people come and go, dressed in winter clothing. We stayed for a little while, then walked outside to watch the planes. But not for long. It was cold just standing there, but I did find this gratuitous nature shot:
I like shooting plants, and I always love seed pods. They are so diverse and interesting, all different shapes and textures.
After we got back on the bikes, we stopped at one contest destination in Payson, then headed up to Strawberry for another. On the way to Strawberry, at first we found a little bit of snow by the side of the road, but the amount of it increased as we went north. When we got to Strawberry Schoolhouse, our destination, there was a lot of snow piled up:
The temperatures were in the 40s by then, so the snow was melting, dropping off branches in big clumps. Water was running across the road in places, but it was still amazing to find the wintry weather just as the season is starting.
After Strawberry, we went back to Payson to get one more destination at the south end of town, and saw some interesting sights there as well:
Mostly, it was the sky. Another storm is coming in, and I could feel it, smell it, see it in the clouds that began to thicken. The temperature seemed to be dropping as well, so it was time to head south, back to the Valley, toward warmth and our favorite restaurant for coffee.
Before I left, though, I shot the photo of the geese. I hadn’t seen them when we were stopped in the park, but I had to have the above photograph. It brought back memories of Horicon Marsh in Wisconsin, a stopping place for the migration south. The whole marsh fills with geese on their way south. Perhaps the ones I photographed had even come from there!
On the way home, the sky to the west looked very “snow sky,” and even though I probably shouldn’t have, I stopped on the side of the busy 87 to get some photos. I probably should have waited until I got a little farther down, but I forgot that there is a better, safer place, and I wanted a photo of that sky with the snow-covered mountains beneath it:
I was in the lead on the way home, and it didn’t seem to take any time at all to get back to Fountain Hills. After that, we went to Paradise Bakery where we got some coffee and most importantly, got to sit and relax for a change without being pressured to run in 100 different directions. While I sat there, I played with my camera, catching a few birds enjoying themselves in the fountain:
Eventually, my riding partner and I had to part company and go home. After all, I had 2000 words to write for the NaNoWriMo challenge, which I did. I am at 12,000 words now, on track to meet my goal of 50,000 words by the end of the month.
More great weather drama is apparently on tap for tomorrow. I can’t wait!