Overheard at a truck stop today:
“You seen the weather comin’ through. It’s a shit storm. Wyoming’s a shit storm even when there’s no shit storm comin.'”
That made me laugh. I love this state because it’s so freakin’ pretty, but the dude’s kinda’ right. The driving conditions are always sketchy here during the winter months! Even when it’s sunny you sometimes have to watch for spots of black ice or wind gusts – or both at the same time.
We receive text messages from http://Wyoroad.info/ that lets us know of any up-to-date changes. Today they look like this:
This is certainly not the worst I’ve seen in my very limited experience so far. That experience was a couple of weeks ago. There were miles of thick ice blanketing the entire road. Some trucks drove on the rumble strip for extra traction. All the trucks, as well as a few cars that were out there, were driving no faster than 30mph with their 4-ways on.
A few trucks were spread out across the snowy median, some already being assisted by a wrecker. It knotted my stomach every time I passed one. I silently wondered if they’d been one of the few trucks that flew past going 60, but I knew even going 30 can spin you out if you move just the wrong way or need to brake quickly. I learned that in skid pad training at school.
It’s just downright freaky when the ice gets like that. After we got through there, chain laws went into effect and eventually portions of the highway were just shut down. We’ve hit some gnarly weather, but thankfully haven’t been put too far behind because of it yet. I sure hope that’s because we’re lucky and not because we’re overly-brave. I think we’re being pretty smart about our decisions. So far, so good – I keep saying that, and hopefully always will be!
As for now, this is what lies ahead beyond that beautiful blue sky:
So onward we go. It actually doesn’t seem like that bad of a storm, to be honest. All the texts, website listings and comments overheard by other truckers might over-dramatize it all just a bit. Hmm… reminds me a little bit of thru-hiking! You just always have to remember that the rumors and warnings could be true, proceed with caution, and know when to stop or turn around. (link takes you to my PCT entry when a snowstorm stopped us 60 miles from the Canadian border and the end of our 2,660-mile trek.)
But again, right now… it’s gorgeous out there. Just gonna’ enjoy that sunny warmth while it’s here!
Tonight I love Audible and stories of travel and drifters. “I like songs about drifters, books about the same. They both seem to make me feel a little less insane.” -Modest Mouse