Over dinner in town, my friends let me know that Wolf Creek Pass - an infamous stretch of U.S. Highway 160 that spans the continental divide - would likely be covered with heavy snow due to the weather. Apparently, it is well known for its deep, stable snowpack - two to three times that of other north and central Colorado mountains.
Who knew? Today's planned route to Dodge City would have taken us right through that area. Given that Tess and I were driving a subcompact car with 2-wheel drive and no chains, we might want to think about alternate plans.
Go south! Yes - that seemed like a good idea. We settled on Amarillo, with the thought that with a long drive the next day we could make it to our scheduled stay in Kansas City Kansas. Got the hell out of Dodge... the reservation, that is. (I've always wanted to say that.) I had to eat the charge because the cancellation was so late, but didn't quibble. I'm a host, after all. I don't like it when guests cancel at the last minute. Requested a reservation at a 2-BR former B&B in Amarillo. Congratulated myself on a quick resolution.
Not so fast. My host in Amarillo (who was pretty new to Airbnb) accepted my request but then told me that only one bedroom would be available. The listing was for 2 bedrooms. I was annoyed. If I cancelled my reservation, I would lose my fee. My host did not respond to my emails.
So began my very first call to Airbnb corporate for a dispute. I was on hold for 20 minutes, but then explained the situation. My customer service representative was able to see the email exchange that I'd had with the host and let me know that per protocol, she would need to attempt to contact the host and give her an hour to respond. If she didn't, I'd get my reservation cost back plus an extra 10% to go toward another listing.
Deal. By 1:00 a.m., I got word that my reservation was cancelled by corporate and my fee refunded. By 1:05, I had made another reservation in Amarillo at a lovely 2BR home with a Roaring 20's theme. When I woke up this morning at 6:30, there was a fluffy coat of snow on the ground. We drove all day, leaving the snow and the mountains behind us.
I'm at the house in Amarillo now, doing laundry, drinking a beer that my hosts kindly provided, listening occasionally to the news blaring from the cable tv in the living room that Tess is watching. We plan to see the Cadillac Ranch on our way out of town tomorrow. Ten Cadillacs buried nose down in a field at an angle that mimics the Cheops Pyramid.
Life is good, when I don't think about politics.
I just scanned the Internet for word of the snow on Wolf Creek Pass, wanting confirmation that we had made the right decision to detour south. Turns out, there was a fatal crash there yesterday.
It's a scary world, sometimes.