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Published: September 24th 2009
Although the sky was very overcast and threatening, the temps were mild and the roads dry as we started out on Snow Ridge Road, our last scenic route through southern Wyoming.
Wyoming is a beautiful state with so much wide open land, fresh air, wildlife, desert, high plains, prairie and mountains. We've had good weather until the last couple of days so really can't complain. Frank's friend Chuck was quite funny when he asked what were the three most important things we had learned about Wyoming. The correct answer according to Chuck is take every opportunity to stop for gas, take advantage of every bathroom you see and the third is that wind makes all the difference. He was absolutely right. Gasoline and bathrooms are few and far between out in the desert and mountainous areas and the wind which is almost a constant in Wyoming, can make the temps feel about 30 degrees cooler.
Our last scenic route in Wyoming was through a mountain pass named Medicine Bow. As we climbed the temperature began to drop and we started to see evidence of snow on the pine trees. There were quite a few Aspens intermingled with the pines and because
there was a breeze blowing, the Aspens were shimmering or quaking. I'd heard the term "quaking Aspens" but now realize how the name came to be.
At one point, we met a herd of cows along the roadside slowly making their way down to the valley. There is a lot of open range here, so cows in the road and not uncommon, but I'd never seen a whole herd of cows nicely lined up along the roadside all walking in the same direction. As we rounded the curve we saw why. A cowboy on horseback and his dog along side were herding them down the mountain. As we passed him, Frank said to the fellow on horseback, "turned a little cold didn't it". The cowboy answered "the cows think it did". We laughed as we both carried on, he and his herd heading down the mountain (sensible direction) and us heading up the mountain. (scenic but cold and perhaps not so sensible). We had inquired about the pass before we headed out and the information we received said that the roads were clear and it was safe so we continued on. At the summit, Medicine Bow Observation Point-Tyler Flats, the
temperature was 23 degrees, the wind was strong and the snow fall, although light, was blowing horizontally. Elevation was 12,013 feet.
I decided that it was a little too cold for my liking and I didn't get out of the car.
The scenery was great on the road to the summit because the pines trees were dusted with snow, the Aspens were orange and yellow.
Once through the pass and down the other side of the mountain, we were suddenly in a high plains area, temps rose to 41 degrees and the snow had disappeared. It amazing how quickly things can change.
We crossed into Colorado mid afternoon and headed for Ft Collins. The route was through another mountain pass by the name of Poudre Pass and down into Poudre Valley where there were streams and waterfalls. Simply gorgeous.
We arrived in Ft Collins before dark and signed in at a Ramada Inn for the next 3 days.
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