It came from the skies: crater expectations crash to earth in a flurry
A man tries to start a snow-blower during a blizzard in Overland Park, Kansas.
THIS week's column was going to be about my road trip to a place called Meteor Crater. But my plan to share my adventures in the middle of nowhere, Arizona, has been dashed. Instead, I'm in a hotel room in a place called Kingman in Arizona watching the snow fall.
I'd planned this trip a few weeks ago - I like to leave LA occasionally to check in with the rest of the country. Looking at a giant hole in the ground seemed like a good idea. Seemed like an even better idea once the Russian meteor arrived. But snow is something you do not mess with on the road.
I love snow. Well, when it's falling. As someone with very little childhood experience of the white stuff, watching giant flakes of chilly ice float gently to the ground is fun. As long as you're at home.
To get to Meteor Crater, which is near Winslow - a tiny place made famous by an Eagles song - you need to drive through Flagstaff, which is several thousand metres above sea level. A place usually chilly and deserty, like all of Arizona, but which gets the occasional winter snowstorm. By the way, in America, we call storms that occur during this season ''winter storms''. Even though we all know it's winter, weather folk like to remind us. There are no summer storms - that would be ridiculous.
So the storm of the season, and I picked exactly the same day to drive through Flagstaff. I was all set to battle through it, thinking it would be a fun adventure. But then I read the weather bureau's ''winter storm warning''. It said things like: ''Driving will be extremely dangerous during this storm … if you must travel, take emergency supplies … tell family and friends your route and the type and colour of vehicle you are driving in case you get stranded.''
Now I'm as committed a writer as anyone - but that language freaked me out. So I reluctantly suspended my dreams of seeing an actual crater, and settled instead for a drive to Kingman; which has a lower elevation, and less need to tell my wife all our online banking passwords before departure.
But the snow has found me anyway, in the best way. It began wafting from the heavens at breakfast in thick, chunky flakes and quickly transformed into what looks more like a very thick, slow, white rain. No accumulation, at least not where my hotel sits. So I get to enjoy the snow, without dealing with all the mess.
As for Kingman, it's trying to tell the world its location on Route 66 makes it worth visiting. Good luck with that.
Ah, it looks like the snow is tapering off. Which means I can hop in the car and continue my travel reporting at a new and rarely talked about location about two hours north, out of the snow zone. It's called Las Vegas. The things I do for journalism.
Tim is a writer, TV producer and proud former Canberra resident who has lived in Los Angeles since 1997. Twitter @timschildberger