By John Aldrich
It's now obviously a few days later, and we've returned home, but let's return to the food run narrative with a look at the Leupp run.
As we left things on the evening of the Dilkon run, the wind was still howling, Interstate 40 was shut down, and the power was out in Winslow. We all had great hopes that the wind would subside during the night, but alas, that was not to be the case. As the night progressed, souvenirs from the shake roof of the motel accumulated in the parking area, and red sand piled up in our room thanks to the not-so-tightly-sealed door. I'm told that the power came back on around 9:00 p.m., but I was sound asleep by then.
Our base motel, The Lodge, is located at the west end of Winslow, and we have our group breakfast at the Flying J on the east end of town. In the morning, we could see trucks moving on the Interstate, so the wind had subsided enough for it to reopen, but when we pulled out of the motel, it was clear that virtually every truck in the United States was stuck in Winslow. Every open space, parking lot and roadside was choked with big rigs. Traveling through town rather than by the highway, we reached the Flying J where things were even more congested. Linda had planned to use an alternative route to Leupp that didn't involve the Interstate, so we weren't all that concerned.
After returning to The Lodge, we lined up for our departure. By then, the congestion at our end of town had subsided and we took the bold move of entering westbound traffic on the Interstate. The exit for Leupp is only six miles west of Winslow, so this seemed like a slam dunk.
As you might discern from the blowing skirt, the wind remains a factor. However, in this southwestern part of the reservation there doesn't seem to be as much sand so the earth isn't as inclined to levitate. To the east we could see that the earth and sky were still one.
The combination of wind, cool temperatures, and possibility of rain forced Linda to make a major decision regarding the Birdsprings food run the following day. More about that tomorrow.