Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Wednesday, May 22, 2019, WY

Nothing to write about yesterday except some house cleaning, an oil change for my car, filling the cars up with gas, and a bit of shopping. It was a cold and rainy day, we avoided the outdoors as much as possible.

Today is another story.  Tom hooked up in the cold and rain while I did the dog walks and secured the inside of the trailer (I had the easy part, for sure). We were on the road by 10:30 with only a 140-mile drive ahead of us. We saw the weather prediction for the most direct route and knew that we might be hitting some snow in the high passes of the Bighorn Mountains on US-14 between Cody and Sheridan. Three miles out of Cody, we started to see snow buildup on the ground and the hilltops, although the temperature raised up to near 50 degrees and we could no longer see any snow on the roadsides. It was beautiful for the first 70 miles of the drive. 

And then we started climbing in elevation and seeing more and more wet snow on the road and it was coming down hard all around us. As we were climbing a hill at Granite Pass (9,000 feet), and lots of switchbacks, we passed two snowplows going in the opposite direction and then Tom started slipping and sliding and could no longer move without the trailer jack-knifing, he was stuck on the wrong side of the road.  Another RV, a Class C motorhome with a toad came along behind us and he got stuck too. We waited, figuring that the snowplows would radio for help, as we had no cell service whatsoever. Finally a plow came by and they had me go back about a mile where another plow was keeping people off the road. When I got there he was communicating with others on the east and west side of the pass, who had decided to temporarily close off the pass until the two RVs farther east could be cleared (Tom and the Class C). I sat and waited with about 6 other cars and 2 tractor trailers and the snow plow.  A few of the cars turned around and headed back toward Cody, as the roads were perfectly clear in that direction.

After about 1.5 hours of waiting, I got word that the road had been cleared and I could go meet up with Tom who had moved on to a pull-off on the road and was waiting for me.  The cars and tractor trailers made it through and Tom and I headed out once again. The road was decent, but still snowy in some places and sure enough, Tom and the Wildwood got stuck again where the snow was packed up  on the road.  Again, we had passed two snowplows heading in the opposite direction, so we just waited, this time for about 30 minutes. The snow plows showed up, shoveled sand and salt in front of Tom’s tires and that gave him enough traction and we were back on the road in no time. Tom followed the lead snowplow with me behind him and the second snowplow followed me until we got lower in elevation to where the road was clear of snow. Again, we saw the temperature go up and as we approached the town of Dayton, we were seeing a beautiful green valley off in the distance.  MANY, MANY THANKS TO THOSE GUYS for saving us from spending the night on the mountaintop.

Today’s sequence of views from the road.

We settled in at Peter D’s RV on the west side of Sheridan, a very nice and tidy park with a very friendly owner who checked us in. We got hooked up as the raindrops fell - again.  We’re tired and hungry but so glad to be where we are.