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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Will We Dodge This Bullet?

~Thursday, May 19, 2022~

Day 704 (Travel Day)

Well, that’s it! We decided to leave a day early for safety concerns due to this winter storm that is headed right for Grand Lake, set to deliver 19 inches of snow and arriving around 4:00 a.m. Friday morning. Jeff called our next campground in Guernsey, WY, to make sure we could arrive a day early, where we received the all clear. Upon our leaving, I went to the office to tell the staff that we were leaving a day early and that if they had any weekenders arriving tonight, that site #15 was available. Such a bummer that our booking in Grand Lake is one day too long, having to forfeit $80 (no refunds due to weather). But it’s better to play it safe than sorry, right? Now the only thing we have to be careful of are the high wind warnings.

Even leaving a day early hoping to dodge the storm, we didn’t want to take the Denver route for 2 reasons…..the traffic and the 11,000 foot pass we would have to climb over. Instead, we chose the more scenic route of SH-125 ultimately to Hwy. 25, then 26 to land us in Guernsey, WY. Along the way, we gave a celebratory woo-hoo when

Hank turned over 60,000 miles. And what an awesome truck he’s been!!

The worst of the wind happened in the beginning and it was bad, forcing Jeff to slow things down to a comfortable 45 mph through our ribbony, scenic journey. Well, most of it was scenic but we also saw a lot of scarring from previous fires.

It was hard to imagine that much of what we were seeing would be blanketed in snow by tomorrow evening. With the winds, we figured that because we’d be traveling in more of a valley, that we’d be less exposed and more sheltered from the violent winds. There was hardly a car, truck or RV to be seen in our near 5 hours of driving, which told us most were heeding the wind warnings. Aside from Jeff announcing we’d just crossed the 9,863 foot summit of the Continental Divide, I remained heavily engaged in my laptop duties. And it was a good thing as I didn’t find out until later, that Jeff had become even more nervous about an hour outside of Laramie, WY. The variable message signs read, “Winds gusting to 60+ mph ahead. All high profile and light vehicles should turn around and return to Laramie.” Oh my, it IS a good thing I was absorbed in what I was doing. Otherwise, I would have freaked out and told my hubby to turn around. Feeling ever so confident in our aerodynamic, lower profile travel trailer, Jeff decided to press on. Another thing we noticed upon crossing into Wyoming, were the many road closure gates along the highway, something we’re only used to seeing in the Sierras of California. It makes sense that Wyoming would have these with all the severe winter weather conditions they have.

We finally made it safe and sound to Larsen Park Campground at around 7:30 p.m.. However, the office was closed, so we followed their instructions of calling the after hours number twice, with no answer. If the woman had answered the phone as we were told she would, it would have saved us 30 minutes in trying to figure things out. We had not been assigned a site number, so had no idea where to go. AND it was pouring rain. So while I stayed in the car with Sadie, Jeff grabbed his rain poncho and walked about 100 yards into the camping area. Mind you, there were only 2 RV’s there and no camp host. He proceeded to knock on the door of one of the rigs and met a very helpful woman who told us the route to take on the other side of the river to get to the campground, and where to fill up our fresh water tank. Thank you, thank you! With temperatures plummeting, it began to snow, which made setting up a boat load of fun (not!!). At that point, our clothes were pretty damp, and our fingers, frozen. After we got things leveled out and unhitched, I immediately turned on the propane heater until Jeff connected the electricity. Our few days of full-hookups are gone likely until after Alaska. Then I got a phone call from the manager who apologized for not answering earlier. Thankfully, with the slow time of year, we were able to just pick any site we wanted. Good thing since we already took it upon ourselves to do so. This city park seems like a lovely setting right next to the golf course, near a seasonal stream with the North Platte River nearby.

As we were preparing another late dinner, we could hear “Taps” in the distance. Hmm. We’ll have to investigate that tomorrow. We’re just thankful that we made the right decision in arriving here early, arriving safely!

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