First ride to the snow!

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:

Snow up on the Rim

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:

Seed pods

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:

Strawberry Schoolhouse; that's snow on the roof and porch!

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.

A paw print on the porch from a big dawg!

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:

The leading edge of the storm, photo taken from Payson

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.

Geese at the park in Payson

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:

Snow on the Mazatzals (excuse the power lines! I was precariously parked on the side of the 87)

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:

Bird on fountain

Bird in 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!


4 thoughts on “First ride to the snow!

  1. It looks like you spent much of the day in a wind chill of 25F (based on 40F temperature and riding at around 60mph). Whew! You would definitely need all the heating apparatus you had with you. Give me a nice, toasty car. I do remember riding my Honda 250 to high school in mid-winter and not being able to bend my fingers easily during first period.

    Best shot today: snow on the Rim. Best word in your narrative: gratuitous. Worst misinterpretation of your intent: the statuary on the left in the final photo looks like buns and I wondered why you took a picture of a statue butt when I first glanced at it.

    • Hmmmm. Guess I’d better edit that photo. It looked weird to me, too, but to me it looked like breasts. So, I’d better fix it tomorrow when I am on the laptop that has that photo in iPhoto!

  2. Hey, your edit worked great. It also helps direct the attention to the bird. Great idea. For me, I don’t know that I have ever edited a photo once I blog it. I’ll keep this in mind.

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