You know it’s close to Memorial Day when Snowy Range road (Wyoming Highway 130) finally opens up, and true to schedule, the road was reopened this year on Monday.
The 68-mile-pass, which is only open for a few months each year, gets clobbered by snow during the offseason. It still could be inundated with snow at some point this year. After all, some parts of the road have elevations of more than 10,800 feet.
Last year, the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) told Cowboy State Daily reporter Ike Fredregill that despite the warmer weather, motorists need to exercise caution.
“It is still May and we are high up in Wyoming, so it can always get a little icy, particularly in the mornings and evenings, when it’s out of the sun,” the WYDOT spokesman said. “So we always tell people to watch out for some slush and some slick spots until it can really get melted down later in the season.”
Cowboy State Daily videographer Mike McCrimmon joined a heavy equipment operator last year during the annual clearing.
He told McCrimmon that with 15-plus foot drifts on the road common, breakdowns occur and that’s why the two crews travel with a full-time mechanic.
“It’s easier to have a mechanic up here with us so they can fix problems right away instead of someone having to drive up from Laramie,” he said.