Buffalo, Wyoming – In the blizzard

There was a heavy storm last night, but the sun is shining innocently this morning. If there wouldn’t be the huge cloud structures around us… In Thermopolis is the Wyoming Dinosaurier Center. Not only prehistoric bones are dag up here, prepared and assembled. Dinosaur skeletons in all sizes – own finds as well as some from other institutes – and fossils from around the world are displayed in the museum that belongs to the institution. The laboratory is glazed and you can watch the technicians when exposing and treating the bones. They offer tours to the excavation sites during summer. 10 $ entrance fee for the museum isn’t a small amount, but at least it is for the benefit of the institution.

The Bighorn Mountains are glowing in the sunlight. But what is falling from the clouds to the earth is snow for sure. The Bighorn Mountains are said to be as high and at least as beautiful as the Rockies, but more lonesome. Cloud Peak is more than 4,000 meters high. The landscape is dramatically, but we can’t enjoy it for long time. Snow starts falling, the street covers slowly, and with increasing elevation the temperature sinks from +10 to 0° C. At Powder River Pass in 2,950 m elevation the driving snow gets so dense that we can’t see the road any more and we stop at a pullout. Then the chaos starts. In-between three minutes the temperature drops to -10° C, wind speed rises to more than 100 km/h, and snow flakes move horizontally above earth’s surface. Wind chill factor should be around -35° C, as we calculate later – cold enough to cause frostbites. We better get back into the driver’s cabin. The blizzard puts on an impressive, in fact frightening performance. A snow plough continuously drives up and down the road. Fortunately the snow storm doesn’t last very long and we resume driving downhill the now icy road. All wheel drive and differential lock render a good service now when seven and a half tons (8.3 US t) push downhill. At the foot of the mountains the situation subsided. Endless pastureland lies peacefully in then sun.

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