Normal Winter seasons cold and snowy…and then there’s Wyoming…
Winter has been banging on our doors here the last two weeks. Then, outside today to make three trips (and another in a bit) to daughter’s home with hot food and a run to the grocery store for electrolytes and other sundry items. Seems she and her kiddoes are very sick with a nasty stomach virus.
Finally get home to sit for a few minutes (walk the pups, and take a the trash out), and see a local news story about the record cold here in southeast Wyoming.
Seems that Elk Mountain (38 miles east on I-80) hit -30° two nights ago (11/18/22). Here? A balmy -14°
Truck wrecks…the worst part of Interstate 80 in the nation.
You’ve heard of Elk Mountain before…March 1st, 2020. A massive 140 vehicle wreck that closed the highway for three days, killed 3, and the closest hospital was here in Rawlins? MHCC could handle maybe a dozen on a bad day…but on this day they had three times that, and were calling in nurses, doctors, EMTs. and every medically trained person they could find in this big, empty county. It was a miracle there wasn’t more death and injuries reported.
All of this was just 30 miles west of Rawlins…
…and you’ve probably seen this video as well…the perfect example of Wyoming wind and blow-ever accidents on this stretch of highway…
That’s just the beginning of the winter cold here. We’ve got all our blankets out, washed and dried, and stacked in the corner.
Elk Mountain is never safe in the winter…Here’s a video that shows what the road and conditions on interstate 80 look like several times every winter…and the wind is ALWAYS horrible as well..
The entire time we’ve lived in Wyoming for most of the last 22 years, and having lived in (in order) Lander, Worland, Riverton, Pavillion, Riverton again, (three years away in Nashville and then St. Louis), and now living in Rawlins, we’ve NEVER had the power go out for more than an hour or two…in that whole time…
Before moving here in October 2000, we had lived in north central Alabama for 8 1/2 years, having transferred within the Post Office from north Dallas, fulfilling a promise to my wife that we’d move there if I could either get a job there, or do a transfer. She’d grown up without her mom from age four onward, and I wanted to make that move happen.
After the move, where I transferred to the Bessemer post office, and only two weeks into March 1983, we had the worst storm we’ve ever been in…I.e. The Perfect Storm.
We lived in Abernant, Alabama…exactly halfway between Birmingham and Tuscaloosa…and we had 15 inches of snow in our yard. It sucked. Every single highway in the state was shut down by the governor…because Alabama didn’t have any snowplows.
Why do I mention all that? Grew up in Texas…moved to Bama in 93. Then, last year in Texas the Perfect Sto…no…FAILURE, occurred. Almost 300 died. The storm resulted in the National Weather Service issuing various winter weather alerts impacting over 170 million Americans.
We all know WHY the Texas power grid blew up…the feds MANDATED misguided, forced green energy…that only works when the landscape is GREEN.
Over 9.9 million people in the U.S. and Mexico experienced blackouts, many due to a major power crisis in Texas, which became the largest in the U.S. since the Northeast blackout of 2003. There was also a tornadic outbreak that killed several.
Then, you’ve got the Ice Storm From Hell…Ontario 1998…power out for weeks, high tension towers down, a pluperfect mess…4 million without power.
Given all the above (this post), AND the record high costs for EVERY kind of fuel…here and abroad, the record high inflation, the global PanFaWar (Michael Yon), the utter decimation of 1) raw materials and crops, 2) a global factory production collapse, 3) supply chain controls and infrastructure, 4) an unwilling workforce to do what must be done to save our nation’s power and strength, 5) upcoming rail line shutdowns, and 6) inability to produce or source enough diesel to move food and energy products to save average Americans from absolute economic devastation.
If all we can do is hunker down in the darkness of our homes, covered in blankets, living on ramen and Kool-Aid, keeping a single candle lit day in and out…and somehow make it to spring without starving, what will we HAVE when spring thaw happens?
What kind of society will we see when we unbolt the door and walk out into the miasma slowly unfolding? What will the nation, and the world at large, have left…if this is the winter of total collapse and a mushroom cloud of the Greatest Depression is rising on the horizon?
I hate being so negative about what we all have to look forward to…because being prepared is a wholesome, positive reaction to dealing with normal life…
The problem is that the scales of life…of justice…of joy…of rebirth…swing wildly when the winds of change, of fear, of apocalypse…race throughout our lives and out of control in every way possible.
How we each respond, in ways big and small, is how we each make it through to the far shore…whether we can see it or not, through the mist or smoke (or flames). Taking others with us, helping each other when we stumble, and modeling compassion and comradery gets us to the other side…
[ me working on replacing an engine in my 2000 Xterra August 2012 ]