I left Kimball, Nebraska early yesterday morning, stopping at the Diner for an excellent breakfast, overhearing truck drivers talk about how crazy the roads were the day before (as well I knew!).
Yesterday was a beautiful day–sunny and clear. Until I got to Cheyenne, WY about 8:30am. Periodically on I-80 there are signs that say: ‘I-80 – CLOSED if lights are flashing.’ As I reached Cheyenne, I passed a sign and the lights were flashing. Tuning into 5.30 AM, the Wyoming road conditions station, I heard, “I-80 West is closed due to winter conditions. Will re-open after noon on December 26.” Sigh.
I spent a few hours at the Wyoming Welcome Center in Cheyenne. They have a wonderful exhibit on the history and geology of Wyoming–if you are ever in the area you should check it out! The woman at the desk said that all the roads leading into the mountains were closed, and it was best to adopt a wait-and-see attitude. I did my best, and topped off the morning with an early lunch at Luxury Diner. At noon I-80 opened, so I plugged my destination into my phone and started off. I wondered why I was being directed to Rt. 210 instead of directly onto I-80, but then I remembered the line of trucks.Rte. 210 is a scenic road through Medicine Bow Forest (with the Curt Gowdy State Park on the way–who knew?), and there was very little traffic.
At Laramie I got onto I-80, which was still lined with trucks moving slowly. The wind was significant, but my car is low to the ground and loaded down with household stuff. No snow was falling, but the blowing snow caused brief whiteout conditions at times, and the road was snow-covered most of the way. The landscape was stark and barren–it was an eerie sight!
It was not until Rock Springs, Wyoming that we started passing into populated areas again. Around 6:30pm Mountain time I reached Evanston, Wyoming, and stopped for the evening.