More Snow

Thursday, October 31, 2002 Road Junkies 0 Comments

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF LEWIS & CLARK, Chapter 11:  IN WHICH WE FIND BOTH TRICKS AND TREATS

Day 11
Twin Falls, ID to Fort Collins, CO.  We left Twin Falls just before 7 a.m. with the temp a little below 10°. We wanted to look for the falls, but since it wasn’t quite daylight, we hit the road. Stopping at a beautiful new Idaho rest area near the Utah border reminded us how glad we were to get away from the rest areas in Oregon—very dirty, very ugly, very inhospitable.

Snowy roadside

We drove along snow-covered mountain ranges in Idaho and the same in Utah. A little snow fell around Salt Lake City but stopped quickly. We caught a quick glimpse of the Great Salt Lake before turning eastward, continuing to see long, long stretches of uninhabited areas with only cattle in sight.

Scenic I-80

In Wyoming, we climbed above 8,000 feet on I-80. As in Montana, we saw numerous gates where the interstate highway could be closed due to inclement weather. Signs were posted indicating “I-80 closed 1 mile ahead if lights are flashing. Return to Laramie. Violaters will be prosecuted.”

Rail lines often parallel rivers in the West.

Snow-covered vistas at the high altitudes were spectacular. We were surprised to see cattle and even buffalo herds so high. As we neared Cheyenne, the snow began to fall in earnest. Along I-25 south toward Denver, we began seeing large herds of antelope near the roadside.

All this snow and it's only October.

Approaching Denver, our destination for the night, driving proved to be hazardous. Snow plows were following rush hour traffic northbound, and the southbound lanes didn’t seem to be getting much attention. In addition, the snow was falling pretty heavily. Just north of Fort Collins (60 miles north of Denver), we began to see more and more accidents, and traffic slowed to a crawl.

Safely in for the evening, we watched as snow continued to fall.

The highway was almost completely covered with snow, and darkness conspired with the snow cover to reduce visibility to the point that we decided it best to find shelter for the night. We found a hotel, prepared dinner and watched another six inches of snow fall from our hotel window.

THURSDAY, 31 OCTOBER 2002