As a general assignment reporter, every day is different. Sometimes I’m covering upsetting crimes; other times, a heartbreaking tragedy; some days, a dramatic court hearing or city council face-off. But there are some days when the stars (and cold fronts) align and we reporters are gifted the loveliest low-hanging fruit there is: snow coverage.
Of course there is an important viewer-benefit element to coverage… tracking road conditions, watching how and when and where the largest amounts of snow are coming down and making sure people are okay… but the last snowstorms of the season treated me to some pretty calm coverage, focused more on beautiful landscapes than icy road closures and structural damage.
For a few days, a photojournalist and I were sent up to beautiful Chama, New Mexico. I snapped the photo above behind one of the charming bed and breakfasts that sprinkle the main road into town. The not-so-pretty story behind it is that it had been snowing on and off for about a week so everyone in town had been working hard to keep up with it…. but let me tell you, driving around town with the clean blankets of perfect snow- nearly burying the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic railroad and then warming up by a fire with coffee in hand (and, okay, a few too many plates of carne adovada nachos) felt a whole lot more like fun than work.
On some stories, stopping people on the street and asking to talk with them can be tough. If it’s a touchy or controversial issue, it can be nervewracking. If it’s something obscure, it can feel like you’re annoying people and sucking up their time. But weather’s basically universal, and it’s easy to strike up a conversation when your opening line is, “wow, look at all this!” Trips out of town for snow coverage are a chance to meet new and different people and see new places — my two favorite things about my job, hands down.
If Chama was charming, Las Vegas was lovely… and delicious. I know there’s probably lots of good food in town, but Charlie’s Spic & Span was amazing– comfort food at it’s finest! It was obviously a cold (but beautiful) day, so that could have been part of it… but homemade bread is one of my weaknesses and the giant grilled cheese (simple choice) I inhaled after we were done working but before we hit the road back to Albuquerque was likely the best I’ve ever had. Their donuts were also fabulous- they weren’t that sugary, like the Rebel Donuts I rave about… instead they were chewy and flavorful and different. They were also gigantic- the kind where you only take half…but then eat the other half… and maybe two more.
The trips out of town were a blast- I liked the work I produced, my photojournalist and I had a fun time and we got to meet lots of great people. But it was nice to come home to cozy couch time… complete with some sweet cinnamon rolls, straight from the oven.