Traversing wind-swept Wyoming |

Traversing wind-swept Wyoming

My daughter and I drove to Pocatello, Idaho, last weekend to watch my granddaughter compete in the Simplot Games 2023 invitational track meet for high school students.

As usual traveling across the entire state of Wyoming was dicey.

On our way there we made pretty good time with only a few ice patches on the roads.

But the way home was a nightmare. Because there was a snowstorm heading to Pocatello on Monday afternoon through Wednesday we desperately needed to get out of town. But I-80 had rolling closures from Rock Spring to Rawlins and we did not want to get caught up in that.

We decided to take an alternate route that added four hours to our trip by heading up to Riverton and then to Cheyenne where my daughter lives.

We encountered several icy patches, but the drive was relatively smooth. Then, as we got closer to Cheyenne the wind gusts picked up to 60 mph-plus and things got interesting.

Luckily, or maybe not for farmers and ranchers, in that part of. Wyoming there was little to no snow cover and what snow was there was hard packed and didn’t get whipped into a full-fledged blizzard.

Most of what blew at us was dirt and debris. At one point we expected a cow to come flying by us.

My daughter had to do a lot of white-knuckle driving but she’s a trooper, having learned to drive in North Dakota winters.

We finally got to Cheyenne and had to drink a couple glasses of wine to calm our nerves.

And we were satisfied that our decision to take the long way home was justified when we found out that I-80 was still closed the next day.

I will report that western Wyoming has a fair amount of snow and the Pocatello area does as well. In fact, I believe that the Idahoans in that area probably spend a fair amount of their time moving snow.

As for my granddaughter, she qualified for finals and won her heat in the 400-meter dash and her team won their heat in the relay race and qualified for finals. But during her finals she hurt her hip and, although she ran and finished both races it slowed her down considerably and they didn’t place.

But she’s only a freshman in high school so she will have many more chances to win. She wasn’t too sad about losing her race, but she was very upset about losing the relay because it impacted her teammates.

Next weekend is the Wyoming State Track and Field meet so we will be heading to Gillette, weather permitting. My granddaughter is going to a physical therapist and hopes to be 100 percent by then.

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