Across the country, we are experiencing what my mom calls weather whiplash. What’s weather whiplash, you ask? It’s when one day it is like summer and the next winter returns with a vengeance causing you crazy head turns! Although ours won’t be as severe as some here in Phoenix, I thought I would offer a taste of real winter.
We were living in Northern Colorado at the time, and we headed north to the border. Heading to the border here in Phoenix means something very different, and the language changes down there. Me no comprende! Anyway, north of Colorado is Wyoming, and those folks like the wide-open spaces! Ye-haw! We didn’t take the freeway but instead went on the 287, which passes through Fort Collins. LaPorte, and eventually winds its way to Virginia Dale just south of the Wyoming Border.
We crossed over without any delay, which isn’t the case heading south. That’s another story for a different day. We stayed on the 287 until we came to Exit #311 for Wyoming 130, and we headed west. All in all, it took us 2 ½ hours drive from Loveland, CO. Allow extra time if the weather is blustery. We had decent conditions until we got into Wyoming, and we ran into winter! You should always check road conditions before leaving as road closures are common in heavy snow season.
You can see the Snowy Range Mountains from a distance. You don’t realize how big they are until you are right up next to them. They are jagged, rough, and you end up above the tree line. If you embark on the scenic byway, you will start off around 8,000 ft. on the valley floor to a height of 10, 847 ft. above sea level. I think they get their name because they seem to always have snow on them. We’ve gone in the dead of summer and still found snow.
Besides wide-open spaces, Wyoming is known for its wind. You will want to wear layers and a jacket with a hood. Dad says hoods keep human heads warm and block out the wind. Apparently, the land up here in Wyoming is called Medicine Bow National Forest and was inhibited by the Plains Indians, Northern Arapaho, Easter Shoshone, and the White River Utes among a few. They found the minerals in the river to be healing, thus the name Medicine Bow.
We didn’t see the river, but we did stop at the high-mountain lake. The Snowy Range is full of lakes! Take it from me, the water was down-right chilly! BRRRR! It was full of ice chunks, and I only put a paw in. That was all it took. No swimming for me! It sure was pretty, though. We walked around the lake and took pictures.
The scenic drive is 29 miles, and it has several points of interest stops along the way. We have done the Libby Flats Observation Point but skipped it today. We would recommend all the scenic stops, though, if you haven’t been. The drive itself is worth the trip, but getting out and about is also fun. During the warmer season, you can camp, which we have done. Just remember, it can snow at any time! Spring is amazing with all the wildflowers. You can also go skiing at the Snowy Range Ski Resort. It is small and probably pretty windy, but it’s available during winter.
We eventually had to turn around to head home. We did a day trip, but you could certainly make a weekend of it. Wyoming is a beautiful, wild place full of adventures just waiting for you!
Hi! I am Kumaito (Kuma for short), a multi-tan Shiba Inu. My breed is one of the oldest and purest from Japan. I personally was born in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, moved to Friendswood, Texas, and now call Phoenix, Arizona home. I enjoy running or hiking almost every day with my mom, chasing rabbits out of my neighborhood, playing with toys, pestering my brother Edmond, eating, napping … well, I love just about everything and everyone!
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, business consultant, executive coach, behavioral-wellness expert, and author of eight published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
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Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!