April 9, 2004
Waking up in Jackson Hole after an evening at the Snake River Brewery, we rolled over, rubbed our eyes, looked out the window, and saw ... SNOW!!! Lots of big, honkin' flakes coming down! So we turned on the Weather Channel, and here's what we saw:
Porca madonna! The white and purple part is exactly where we were and intended to go today. We made some inquiries regarding road passability, and decided that we needed to change our planned itinerary. We had hoped to go up past the Grand Tetons (which we jokingly thought meant Big Hooters, and later found out that that's exactly what it does mean) and then across the center of the state on secondary roads. But that route would have taken us up over a 9500-foot pass, so we opted for a more southerly one. We headed southeastward out of the Hole, and quickly the snow dried up and we were treated to some fine driving on some beautiful, empty, twisty roads. We were feeling quite smug with our decision.
But smugness never pays. Before too long, our beautiful, empty, twisty roads turned into this:
So we canceled any hopes of driving through the scenic Wyoming mountains, which was a cryin' shame, because Wyoming definitely promised some of the most fantastic roads and scenery of our entire trip. We decided to head down to the Interstate and just spend the day heading east. This itself, though, turned out to be not a whole lot of fun, as evidenced by:
The roads weren't all that bad but, every time we were passed by a semi, its spray ended up as ice on our windshield. (The hot air blasted toward the windshield of our Giulietta, as one might expect, wasn't.) So at virtually every freeway exit, we pulled off and scraped off the windshield with last night's plastic hotel key:
As we approached Laramie, the snow seemed to stop and the roads dried up, so we decided to press on another 50 miles to Cheyenne. Big mistake, since we didn't realize that the road went up over an 8500-foot pass, and we were back in the snow storm again. We finally pulled into Cheyenne, climbed out, and looked over our steed, which was totally ice-encrusted. Sorry, Glenn — I'll take good care of her when we get home!
To add insult to injury, waiting in our hotel room was the magazine below, depicting a couple of people riding in their convertible with the top down on a beautiful, sunny day...
Alas, when we emerged from dinner downtown tonight, we found our ride coated in yet more snow (see below). As we were pulling out of the parking lot, we passed by a group of people, from which we heard a female voice say, "It's a Studebaker, isn't it?". We couldn't stop laughing all the way back to the hotel...
Culture of the Day
Today's topic is Sculpture. Here is a photograph of a sculpture that we found repeated again and again across the Wyoming countryside. Note the subtle effect as the elongated shape disappears over the horizon. Note also how there seems to be little snow on the roadway as an inconsequential result.
Beer of the Day
So when we checked in to the hotel, we asked for advice re dining, and were directed to the Snake River Pub and Grill, a couple of miles away. Sounded good, so we went. Turns out that the place had the same owners as last night's establishment, the marvelous Snake River Brewery, even though the two were 500 miles apart, and it was indeed a brewpub! Woo-hoo! We found some fine grub there, and found some fine brews to appease us for our tribulations of earlier in the day.
Tomorrow will be better, tomorrow will be better...
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