At the end of December 2006, New Mexico was hit with a massive snowstorm. My daughter and I were returning home from Santa Fe and traveled south to the Albuquerque airport to catch our flight. By the time we arrived, there was so much snow (it would be a record with almost a foot of snow falling in Albuquerque in 24 hours), and the weather was so bad that all flights had been cancelled and highways in all directions closed.
I quickly found a room for us in an airport hotel, and we caught one of the last shuttles to it. The hotel’s rooms opened from the outside, so we struggled with our luggage up snowy, icy stairs and walkways. The next morning, the continental breakfast area was a madhouse, with everyone cranky, wanting to get out of town, and taking out their frustrations on the wait for the waffle machine. The airport was still closed, and it looked as if we would be stuck at the hotel for another night. It was still snowing but not as hard.
Watching television, I noticed that the news ticker at the bottom said the highway to Santa Fe would likely reopen in a couple hours. That gave me an idea. I called the shuttle service that went between the airport and various hotels in Santa Fe and asked if the shuttle would be running if the highway opened. The answer was yes. Hoping that would turn out to be true, I called my family in Santa Fe, checked me and my daughter out of the hotel and took the shuttle back to the airport with several other people who were going to wait around, hoping to get on flights.
The highway reopened, and we got on the shuttle. The road had been cleared and because there were no other vehicles on the road, we made good time to Santa Fe, where we were dropped at one of the hotels and waited for my sister to come pick us up.
Since we had a few days to spare in our vacation, we decided to hold off on getting the first flight out we could. We spent an unexpected, few extra days in the sunny Northern New Mexico winter wonderland left by the snow. My father took this photo of me and my daughter as we walked across the Plaza one afternoon.
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