Wind

Into the fireThe storm came, but with less fury than expected.  (For details, see yesterday’s post.)  The snow fell, but not in the copious amounts that the National Weather Service warned about.  At least not here, although I-80 has been closed west of Cheyenne for most of the day due to the 50 mph wind blowing snow across it and creating white-out conditions.

That’s an odd phenomenon.  Sometimes one can be traveling on I-80 and the sky is blue as can be, yet you can’t see the road underneath your tires because the snow is blowing so hard across it.  It gives the effect of floating, and it also can cause you to lose your way and sense of place.  Yet if you look straight up, there is not a cloud in the sky.

The other part of this experience takes place as the snow blows across the pavement, some of it melting as it hits the black surface that has been warmed just enough by the sun to turn the snow that is on the pavement to water.  Then, at about the same time, it freezes in the cold air. The end result is that the pavement then becomes all ice, and traction is no longer available.

The best thing to do in this situation is to avoid driving at all.  Sometimes it is forced upon you as highways get closed.  I was planning on a trip to Jackson to hunt bison on the National Elk Refuge some years ago when a storm blew in and closed I-80 and I-25 at the same time.  These two roads cross in Cheyenne and there is not an alternative way out.  There is just nothing you can do except wait.

Yesterday I said I loved the snow, and I do.  It’s the wind that does me in, and we have plenty of that in this part of the world.  I did not run.

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The picture above has no relationship to this post.  We are having sidewalks replaced, and this is one of the primary tools in sidewalk destruction.  I took this when I went home for lunch today.   All part of the 365 project, as in one picture and one post per day.

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