Yesterday we awoke to the first dusting of snow on Casper Mountain. It’s right on time. We usually see our first higher elevation snow by October 15. It heralds the coming of winter, but it won’t be a slow, steady, predictable arrival. In Wyoming the changing of seasons usually happens in fits and starts.
I remember the fall of 1999 when we got over a foot of snow the second week of October. It was a wet, heavy snow that took down the power lines bringing electricity to the outlying areas southwest of town. We were three days without power, and remembered the practicality of old fashioned fireplaces: The kind with no electric fans or spiffy gas logs with electronic switches. We had plenty of fresh water, and even if we ran out of the bottled variety, we had snow to melt, or the creek out back and firewood for boiling. It was good to know we could survive for an extended time without power of any kind.
True to Wyoming’s defiance of predictable weather, five weeks later, on the weekend before Thanksgiving my two year old was playing in the sprinkler in the yard under sunny skies and mid 70 degree temps. If Wyoming does nothing else for you it will regularly remind you of your inability to control nature. Adaptability becomes a very useful skill here.