We were up and on the road pretty early Saturday morning - after all - we had stealth camped in the overflow parking area at Odell's Brewing Co. We didn't want to wear out our welcome.
For our trip north from Fort Collins, we had two options -- 1) to take the interstate - I25 up through Wyoming or 2) to leave via the 287 and wind our way further west - north through Rawlins. I checked - only about 50 miles difference between the two to get to Billings, MT.
We opted for option 2.
Heading north on the 287 just north of Fort Collins. A very nice landscape - we were enjoying our ride.
Very scenic - who knew?!
Lots of different colour starting to show up - it reminded us of the Painted Desert.
A nice highway - quite busy and quite a bit of truck traffic.
Lots of interesting rock formations. Again, not much snow considering a major snowstorm had just moved through the area.
So long Colorado - see you again!
The 287 took us to Laramie Wyoming. Since it had already been quite windy we decided to stop for gas. There was a hotel beside the gas station so I went over and asked to use the wifi to check the weather. By the time we got into Laramie the blue skies from Ft. Collins had disappeared - it wasn't looking so good now.
At Laramie, we once again had a choice on which way to go based on the weather. After checking all the wind speeds and temps out we decided to continue on our route west along I80 to Rawlins.
Hmmmm - are we sure?! It REALLY isn't looking good! And the WIND! Man - we have NEVER driven in such high winds - it was actually very scary. We were barely going anywhere when it was head on which was better than when it came from the side and we had to deal with the gusts.
Derek was having a hard time staying on the road - after awhile we came across a warning sign stating that winds were 55+ miles per hour - no light trailers allowed. Just past there we saw emergency vehicles along the side of the road - a semi had flipped. Yikes!
As Derek and I were concentrating on the road, Cassia announced that she had to go to the bathroom. Timing right?! We delayed as long as we could - we were trying to find a good place to turn off.
I mentioned to Derek that there was a town up ahead - probably not much of a town but at least a place to exit - Arlington at exit 272 - not even 100 miles west of Laramie.
We pulled into one side of the exit but moved over to the other - we parked right behind a fellow with a truck and trailer - I imagine he was having quite a time as well. There was also a semi parked.
Derek walked further in to see where the road went. We were in luck - a little turnaround among a few closed up cabins - a bit of shelter from the wind.
Our respite from the wind. From here we could see the Interstate - we spent the afternoon shaking our heads watching all the trucks and rvs passing by.
Pretty old history in these parts - the Rock Creek Crossing.
It was around 1:00 pm by this time - not much else to do but go for a walk. It was cool - and windy of course - but we wrapped ourselves up.
Here's a video! (Derek's lips were so numb from the cold wind that he could not even pronounce his words correctly)
Here's a video to show you just how windy it was!
We spent the rest of the day in the van - it wasn't long before it started to snow. Blowing snow!
Derek repositioned the van so that the wind would hit us from the front rather than the side windows.
Cassia and I spent the afternoon doing this and that.
It is sure looking a lot different than when we arrived. Things were definitely going from bad to worse. Oh well - we had food and heat at least.
Here's another video! (Yup - Derek was in a movie making kinda mood)
This is how it looked late in the afternoon - we wondered what it would be like the next morning!
Would we be trapped?!
TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: Have you been to Wyoming? We hadn't either - well not really - I was through on the I25 back in 1994, but don't remember much at all. I can't say that we had much of an introduction with all this wind but now that we are here in Thermopolis we are pretty impressed. I think you have to like wind though!