I think of our planned new year’s eve in Vedauwoo as an easy test run to prepare us for more challenging winter outings in the camper. Maybe part of being born in Wyoming is an eternal willful ignorance of her reaction to such assumptions. We’re beggin’ to be whupped like flapjack butter.
I see the first night as a victory rather than a warning. We find a nice pullout away from the freeway, and sleep reasonably well through a low of 5°F and 20mph winds. The truck is a little slow to start in the morning, as are we, but eventually all systems fire up and we embark on our snowshoe outing for the day.
After that the whuppin’ starts. Temps and snow keep falling, and the wind gets attitude. Still, we delight in our ability to whip up a hot meal in our heated camper while we watch the snow race past the windows. Visibility is not so good when we leave. On the highway, it’s worse. Falling snow combines with ground blizzards for a visibility between fifty feet and zero. We make it to the rest stop without hitting anyone, but have to creep around it twice to figure out what constitutes a parking spot. I seriously regret not getting some video of the whipping whiteness, but we’re all wrapped up in it. Once parked, we dig in for a nap. On waking, we find a very quiet rest stop, except for a couple of folks who have broken down and are taking shelter in the indoor area. They inform us that the road is closed.
Our battery hasn’t had much sun to charge it during the day. If we lose that, we lose the furnace that requires a fan to run. The wind rocks the camper like a dingy, and disables our water heater. The three of us (T-rex wouldn’t have missed all this for the world!) spend a restless night of compromise between required body warmth and sleeping comfort. We turn the heat low enough to get the battery through the night, but all our water is frozen in the morning. 0°F and 40mph winds have crippled us. The truck won’t start. Our black water tank is nearly full, and frozen. Despite some promise of sun, we cry Uncle, beg a jumpstart, and skeedaddle back to Colorado.