Sunday, February 2, 2020
With temps almost to touch 70F - let's get out for a Sunday Drive

It's been a while since I went for a Sunday Drive (Saturday evening Mass). Temps are warm and are set to drop down near 0F over the next couple of days. Let's get out while it's nice.

Route 80C through Cherokee Park is a nice gravel road. From there I'll pop north of Laramie to drive a new-to-me road, Wyoming route 34, over the hills towards Wheatland where it joins I-25. I'll jump south on 25 back to home.

The profile is somewhat curious. East of Morton Pass I lost elevation quickly - but it seemed fairly gentle.

Off of the asphalt US-287, heading west on 80C

Jumping up from the valley.

Years back, perhaps about here, I was coming down while a rancher was moving cattle up the road - an unusual sight.

Looking down the other side.

The road's in good condition.

A nice house on a hill...

The same house with a taste of the view it enjoys.

Miles later, a nice entrance posting

Cherokee Park

House in the valley.

80C - the no-winter-maintenance section.

I'll visit all of 300 yards of it as I'm unable to get up the snow packed hill.

I'll give it a try. Before I left the house I loaded the car with recovery straps and the tire chains from the jeep. I heard that 80C might not be passable (I was thinking an in-and-out might happen - just not this short). I was game to give it a try. This section is uphill on slick packed snow with only a scant bit of sand on it. The drive tires would slip quite easily. I didn't make it to the top.

Then came the somewhat precarious trek down. My goal was to keep it slow and able to stop on the slick surface and not drop off into the ditch (and need to be pulled out). About 100 feet before the end, the right front tire dropped off of the hard-pack and into the sugar snow. Drat! Stuck!  A few, slow careful back-n-forths - nothing's going to happen as-is so it's time to get the tools.

Pull out the army shovel, set to a 90degree angle, and the tire chains. My mind was on the task and not on taking photos. Dig out snow from the front of the RF tire and pack the tire chains in front of it - stretching the chain forward on the ground. The car can drive onto the chain and I won't need to bother trying to "chain-up" the tire - I only need to travel about a foot to get onto the road.

Looking uphill

Just un-stuck.

Tire chain still on the ground from the right front wheel. A chain was also used for the left front - but it's already put into the car. The correct tool for the task.

If I wished to give the hill and road another try I'd need to install chains onto the wheels - not today. Perhaps in the jeep?

This is a bit easier rolling.

Out at a clearing - the moon sitting atop some smooth clouds.


No trees between here and the high tension power line towers that seems small.

The trusty `93 with 312,000 miles.

A mound with a spiral cut roadway catches my eye

A closer look at the top - a fence area to the right and perhaps a could benches near the top.

Snow fence

And there they are - warm enough for pull the motorcycle out.

North of Larame

Rolling northwest on the Lincoln Highway next to the Transcontinental Railroad

Looking to the northeast towards the hills that separate Laramie from Cheyenne.

The west side of the hills are nicely coated with snow.

Old railroad box cars used for storage

Snow fence action. The snow fences are perhaps ten feet tall.

Morton Pass

Odd cuts on the hillside

It looks like someone spent a fair bit of time cutting a road path but they left out several sections

Not much snow on the eastern side of the range (precipitation shadow)

WY-34 at I-25

I'll turn right and head south to home.

A sign letting you know you're out in the wide open west