Our cold snap has ended. In fact, the only truly cold temperatures we had was that week of Christmas. We are back to daytime highs of 60s and nighttime lows of mid-to-upper 30s.
Meanwhile, the MidWest is freezing and so are the Deep South states. Citrus crops in Florida are in danger of dying which means our lemons and oranges will go up in price. News websites are now full of articles and photographs of six-feet-high snow drifts in Nebraska, frozen oranges in Florida and temperature graphs showing single digits across the Midwest. Temperatures this low haven't been recorded in almost 20 years in the affected regions.
I never did go to Indiana, canceling that idea when Kevin's return was delayed due to snow and ice in the Chicago-O'Hare area. He didn't come home till 30 December, exhausted and worn-out. (Thank goodness that my stepmom Carol was able to take him him those three days.) That's when it began to warm back up again here but get colder in the Midwest, which seems to get deeper and deeper into snow and ice. This is when I am glad that I moved to Arizona and only have to deal with the cold for a few days at a time. Chicagoland has had single digits for a while now.
I will instead head out to Indiana in May for a week, during my school breaks, come back to Arizona for a summer college session (maybe) and then head up to Oregon-Idaho-Nevada for July. I'm already going over my hiking guides and ordering topo maps for the areas I've decided to explore more: the Lewis and Clark trail in Oregon and Idaho, and the eastern part of Oregon with Hell's Canyon. My focus will be on all parts of Oregon.
Meanwhile, all that is at least five months away. College resumes again next week and I am ready, anxious really, to resume my studies. I've been spending my winter break listening to history podcasts and going over some of my US history books. I'm using the time off to take the dogs up into the foothills trails every day, where some water is coming back in the creeks from last month's snowfall. Both Sara and Sammy love to get out and sniff scents along the trail while Sadie seems more interested in finding deer parts left behind by hunters in the canyon.