Snowing on Raton

raton pass 1 web

I drove up to Pueblo, Colorado for a quick evening visit earlier this week. The skies were overcast on the trip up, and they had turned to rain on the trip back. The rain got harder and the temperature dropped the further south I got. I stopped in the Trinidad, the border town on the Colorado side, on the way back to check the road conditions for the remainder of the trip. While I was pulled over, the water on the ground started turning to ice and the rain turned to snow. I didn’t want to go over Raton Pass in the dark in those conditions, so I decided to get a motel room for the night.

Things were still slick in the morning, but the road crews had been treating the highway all night. I’ve driven over this pass countless times and it always makes me think of that Townes Van Zandt song “Snowing on Raton.” It’s not the kind of road you want to be on when it’s slick, so this was the first time I’d actually driven over the pass when there was a fresh coat of snow. The roads were slush and there were no good places to pull over on the pass so there wasn’t a safe place to stop and take a picture, even though it was pretty enough to consider risking it.

The roads cleared even more and the snow had almost entirely melted as I descended the south-facing side of the pass. I took the picture above when I pulled over on the first exit on the New Mexico side to clear my windshield.

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