You’ll have to wonder could this really have happened.
First came the dust storms. We camped for three nights north of Sedona, AZ at Manzanita Campground. The Coconino National Forest Service site sits by the Oak River, a scenic wooded area with boulders and sandy soil, only large enough for 19 tent sites.
We spent our days hiking in the area’s deserts and canyons. When we arrived back at our site in the early evening, we were fatigued from the day’s hiking. All we wanted to do was get into our sleeping bags, read, and fall asleep. When we unzipped the tent, we discovered that dust storms and high winds had swept a layer of fine sand inside the tent, covering sleeping bags, clothes, and books. What a mess! For two nights in a row, we pulled everything out of the tent, shook the red sand out, and then put it all back in place.
Next came the snowfall.
Tent camping was cold. We had expected cold, because the elevation is above 7,000’. Still, the cold was colder than we had expected. Our tent and sleeping bags worked well, and we slept comfortably warm. On our last morning at Manzanita, we had begun to pack up our campsite. “Wait a minute! What was that?” Little white pellets fell from the sky. It wasn’t rain. It wasn’t snowflakes. We caught some, and they looked like little misshapen snowballs. At first a “snowball” here, a “snowball there,” and then more, and then a steady fall. We scrambled to throw everything into the car, but the wind threw snow inside our car.