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My Thanksgiving Vacation – Early Snow

In general, this time of year, one can rely on Scotland to be above freezing, but cool and quite wet. Higher ground might have a dusting of snow. If we were lucky, we’d get some sun. So my original plan had been to take a fleecy-type thing along with a rain coat. Then we got phone calls from various members of the missus’ family telling us that they’d gotten snow and more was coming. It was the earliest snowfall in the UK in 50 years.

My dad grew up in Minnesota. I grew up mostly in Kansas. I’m familiar with snow. I’m even pretty comfortable in snow. It’s almost seems quaint to me how the good people of the UK freak out about snow.

Still, I decided that I probably wouldn’t regret taking the heavy coat. It’s not like it would be so warm I’d sweat myself to death in it.

Edinburgh had some snow when we arrived, but the roads were in pretty good shape. Our one day in Edinburgh had some pretty flurries, but nothing that was going to get in our way. But still, there was much concern about our ability to get up to the Highlands the next morning. Where the snow was falling, it was falling like crazy.

Before we left Edinburgh, the missus’ mom and brother started talking about putting together an emergency snow kit for the car. You know, in case we ended up in a snow drift. This was ridiculous and hilarious, but there was just enough real concern in the conversation, that the missus’ mom threw a bunch of stuff into an IKEA shopping bag. It included a short-handled shovel, two blankets, candles, matches and a lighter (just in case), a box of biscuits (we call them cookies), a windup flashlight, and a couple of bottles of water.

I was still feeling pretty skeptical myself. All the snow did, really, was give us a pretty drive…

And once we got away from the east coast a bit, there was very little snow to speak of at all. We’d been worked up into a bit of a tizzy by unclear news reports (most of which seemed focused on parts of England) of snow wreaking all sorts of havoc. Instead it was actually quite lovely.

We’d planned on spending a few hours with the missus’ dad in the Highlands en route to Oban (where one gets the ferry to Mull). The few hours were cut just a bit short because it began snowing, and we wanted to make sure we got to Mull for the wedding. Once a few miles away, though, it was once again smooth sailing.

The threat of snow kept us moving. When we’d check in on the news, there’d be unclear reporting about how much snow and where. It’s a small island, and yet the weather patterns are ever-changing and inconsistent. So even though there’d be a lot of snow in one area, it’d be totally fine less than a mile away.

Once in Oban, there wasn’t anything that could keep us off the ferry. And even as the sun rose over Oban, the ferry was heading into a dark snow cloud on Mull. Which made for some pretty light shows. This is the sunrise before we’d entered the cloud.

This is as we were getting swallowed up by the cloud. The graininess of the photo is mostly snowflakes actually.

But even after we landed and drove just a little ways from the ferry, it cleared up again. Scotland is amazing that way, and we were starting to be amazed by our travel luck. I don’t know. Maybe we got cocky…

2 comments on “My Thanksgiving Vacation – Early Snow

  1. Carrie on said:

    Let’s see if I’ve got this straight. You thought it might snow! A bunch of times! But it didn’t. YOU WERE GOING TO EAT A BIG LUNCH PLATTER! But they were out of it. You thought you’d have to show your penis; again, no. Then you got the flu. Am I missing any part of this super exciting story?

  2. Stay tuned, Carrie, you lunatic.

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