LOCATION: Rock Springs, Wyoming in SW part of state
CAMPGROUND: KOA Rock Springs/Green River. No vacancy for full hook-ups, so we got a site with water and electricity only. Dump station. Very nice bathrooms. As with most KOAs, we are cheek to jowl with neighbors, and no picnic table or firepit. $42/night. 4 stars out of 5
WEATHER: AAARRRGGGHHH! Snow, ice, fierce winds. High 40. Low 25
DRIVE: 4 hours
We had a nice sleep at the Pinedale golf course, thanks to Harvest Hosts. It sleeted during the night, but we awoke to sunshine and views of the now snow-capped mountains.
Our destination today was another Harvest Host farm about 3 hours away. To get around the mountain range, we first had to go about 2 hours south, then turn northeast and go another hour. We started out and immediately noticed really strong cross-winds. I was driving and had a hard time keeping the truck and Joy on the highway. The temperature kept dropping until it hovered around 31/32 for the rest of the afternoon. Cars coming up from the south were covered with snow, giving us a bit of concern. We said, “Wow, if we start getting ice, these winds could make this very bad”……and we did!
Once we made the turn to go northeast, we encountered the Road Closed sign. We had no other option than to continue going south. Rock Springs was about 45 miles farther. We switched drivers as I was too scared to drive any longer. The weather forecast was that it was going to get worse, so we had to move forward.
This was the Stop sign at the junction where we had to change routes…our first sign of trouble
Kudos to George – he did very well driving even though I gasped and shouted quite a bit.
It kept getting worse and worse, and the snowplow hadn’t arrived yet. We were sliding around the highway on the ice. The winds just knocked us around.
Then, at the top of one of the passes, at about 8000 feet, we ran into a total white-out. We almost ran into a front-end collision that had just happened, as we could not see more than a foot in front of us.
I am no stranger to winter driving conditions, having driven a lot in Minnesota and Iowa. But, this was different……Towing a trailer in the fierce winds was a game-changer. Also, there was no shoulder where we could pull over. There was a wimpy guard rail protecting us from the sheer drop-off on the side.
I kept telling George to get closer to the center line, thinking that we would fall over the side, but he was worried about another car approaching us and hitting us.
We poked along at about 30 mph and finally made some headway. It cleared a bit as we started descending and YAY – here comes the snow plow!
The KOA had a spot for us and we parked, without unhooking as the hitch is frozen, and it is just too miserable to be outside.
We plugged in the electricity and turned on the heat pump, but it took a while to get Joy warmed up.
We were just SO very grateful that we had survived that ordeal.
As the afternoon passed, I watched RV after RV limp in to find a port in the storm. We weren’t the only ones by far that had run into trouble.
This is the bleak view from the front window at the dining room table….
The wind continued to gust all afternoon and evening. The Airstream did a lot of rocking and rolling. Whenever one of us went outside, it took both of us to hold the door so that it wouldn’t blow off its hinges.
We decided to stay here hunkered down for 3 nights. We have electricity (heat), water, TV, and cell service. I cancelled our two Harvest Host farm reservations and a commercial park in a supposedly cute town called Ten Sleep. We will stay in this area until we head east toward Fort Collins, CO on the weekend.
DINNER: I made up a new recipe that turned out well, using a lot of bits I had in the refrigerator — a sort of Indian curry. First, I sauteed onion, mushrooms, and the rest of some roasted red peppers I had on hand. To that, I added cooked, diced chicken, and spices – curry powder, turmeric, cumin, and cayenne. I baked a potato in the microwave, and chopped it up. In a Pyrex casserole dish, I layered the potatoes, and then the chicken/veg mix. The oven warmed the trailer up nicely. When the dish was almost done (really just warmed up), I toasted some naan and served with Greek yogurt. We paired this was an IPA, which seemed appropriate.
Interesting factoid about IPA (India Pale Ale)…..Back in the days of sailing ships from England to India, the sailors had a problem with their beer going bad on the long journey. They discovered that adding a lot of hops to the beer preserved it better and also covered the bad taste with a strong hoppy flavor. Thus….we now have very hoppy, bitter IPAs to enjoy!