This post is cross posted with Mike's Jeep Law blog here. Angela was disappointed she didn't go on this drive after looking at the pictures.
My son Jasper has lived in southern Nevada for all of his three and a half years. In that time, he's had snow in his yard just once, and that was when he was just over a year old. He's seen snow when visiting family in Utah, but that's a lot of driving and he's only seen it a few times. As a result, snow is still very exotic to him.
This last week I decided to take Jasper on a ride on the Mormon Well Road. It runs across the Desert National Wildlife Refuge from US-93 (near Coyote Springs) to US-95 (north of Las Vegas). The night before we were going to go on this run, it rained all across southern Nevada, but I knew that it would have been cold enough to snow at higher elevations. The morning of our run, it wasn't surprising, then, to see that there was snow on the mountains we would be driving through. The only question remaining was whether or not the snow would be far enough down the mountains to interfere with our drive.
As we were driving up US-93 to the start of the road, Jasper noticed the snow on the mountains. He immediately got excited and began asking me if we were going to the snow. I truthfully didn't know, but I thought it likely based on the snow I was seeing. When we turned onto the Mormon Well Road, the mountain in front of us had a healthy amount of snow on it. Seeing this, Jasper was all the more excited and was convinced we would driving through the snow. I knew we would be turning before getting to that mountain, so I tried to temper his enthusiasm. However, it wasn't long until it became clear that we would be seeing at least some snow.
At this point, I knew we had another thousand feet of elevation gain, so I told Jasper that we would not be getting out at that spot. A few miles later, the snow was indeed getting deeper, and I let Jasper out to play a bit. Before I could get his winter coat on, he ran off to discover what he could discover. It seems that the first conclusion he came to was that he was cold. He asked for, and was promptly provided, his heavy coat.
I expected that the snow would continue to get deeper before it went away and so we pushed on. I had prepared myself to turn around if conditions were too bad, or if I found it difficult to identify the road but due to the trees and heavy brush it was pretty easy to identify where the road was and wasn't. I just drove through the gaps that were big enough for the jeep. We got to a spot where the snow was close to a foot deep (in places) so we got out to play again.
I am happy to report that my Jeep did a marvelous job in it's first snow action. My Cooper Discoverer STTs gave me great traction in the snow. Jasper was particularly interested in the tread pattern and very much enjoyed looking at the Jeep's tracks. Hopefully we'll get to the snow again soon.