Due to the mild December weather, we were pretty much packed up and ready to go before Christmas. We could have left on the 26th with a focused effort on taking down all the holiday decorations. But as we looked ahead at the route on the radar map, all we could see is stormy weather the entire way. Carlsbad Caverns, our first destination was closed due to snow. Las Cruces, N.M., where we plan to spend at least a week had eight inches, something that hardly ever happens. So we put the departure on hold and went to the movies.
When we came out of the theater yesterday the wind was howling, temperature 33º and the rain came down so hard it was like walking beneath a faucet. A quick jog to the car and we were soaking wet and chilled. A few inches of wet, heavy snow had fallen while we were inside, but it was easy to shove off the drive way. The forecast was for the rain to stop and the temperatures to rise a bit before it got really cold tomorrow. We finished loading and shut off the frig in the house.
Snow flakes swirled as we hitched up the car, but the drive was dry and uneventful until we got into Missouri. I phoned the campground where we hoped to stay and they said they were evacuating due to flooding. I phoned a campground a bit closer and they said they were already closed due to flooding. As we looked at the frontage roads on the side of I-44, some of them looked more like rivers than roads. We thought we would just keep driving southwest away from the Mississippi River basin, but flashing signs on the expressway warned that it too was closed about ninety miles ahead. The rivers that flow into the Mississippi from the west are overflowing their banks long before they reach the Mississippi.
So we feel lucky to be parked at the top of a hill at a campground that normally services fun seekers going to Six Flags over St. Louis. They too, are moving stored vehicles in the valley to higher ground. They are hopeful that the entrance road to the campground will not flood over night. We don't know if we will be able to leave tomorrow or how to get where we want to be. Roads heading in all directions from here are closed. The flood will crest here at midnight according to predictions.
Note to self: Next year leave home in November.