Useful tool

Useful tool

 

If you live in Wyoming long enough, you will eventually have a story to tell about getting stranded by roads closing due to snow.  If you drive between Cheyenne and Laramie with any kind of frequency, you will, at some time, end up in the city that is not yours.

It’s the way of the world here.  In 2009, I had a permit to hunt bison on the elk refuge in Jackson. This is a coveted license, and I made trips to Jackson from Cheyenne every month from August through January to chase these critters.  Suffice to say that it’s a lot harder than one might think.  I was going to drive to Jackson on Christmas day that year, but a snow storm closed all roads leading out of Cheyenne.  All of them. There was no way out, even fro bison hunters.

On another occasion, Sherry and I went to Laramie to attend a banquet where Chandra was being recognized for helping to build a school in Guatemala.

We had a nice dinner and enjoyed the program.  After a couple hours of having a good time, we walked outside to find a foot of fresh snow and notice that the road to Cheyenne was closed.  We got a room in the hotel where the banquet had been, went to Wal Mart for some essentials, and then went to our room for an unexpected overnight stay.

The road did not open until mid afternoon the next day. When we finally did get going, it was apparent that they should have remained closed.  High winds, blowing snow, almost no visibility and icy roads created a harrowing ride.

But we made it.

We also discovered the true heroes of Wyoming’s highways in the winter.  Driving right ahead of us was a snow plow, the brave driver shooting plumes of snow off the road, risking his own well being so we could get home.

This is a brand new plow blade.  Resting just inside the fence of the Wyoming Department of Transportation storage lot in Cheyenne, I am certain in will be put to use this winter.

It’s easy to curse the snow plows as they scatter salt and sand, or slow traffic, or spray snow so that it’s hard to see.  But I think those drivers are incredible, and I am so very grateful to them for the work they do.

I set out tonight to shoot the sunset, but this snowplow blade presented itself instead.  I think it, and, more importantly, the people who drive the trucks on which these hang, are a far more interesting photo than just another sunset.  They are the reason we can get home in the winter.

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