A warm winter welcome amid the snowy mountains of Wyoming

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 03:36:03 AM. It was dark by the time we made the short drive from the city of Casper, Wyoming, up the winding switchback road to the top of Casper Mountain. The moon the only light. The wind the only sound in the chill night. With snow piled several feet high from November until mid-May, the only way in to the cabin where we'd be staying on Crooked Pine Trail was either by ancient snowcat or snow machine. My
It was dark by the time we made the short drive from the city of Casper, Wyoming, up the winding switchback road to the top of Casper Mountain. The moon the only light. The wind the only sound in the chill night. With snow piled several feet high from November until mid-May, the only way in to the cabin where we'd be staying on Crooked Pine Trail was either by ancient snowcat or snow machine. My husband, Tom, and the kids donned helmets and, guided by my cousin, Sean, jumped on snow machines. I opted for the heated cab of the snowcat, ably manhandled by Sean's wife, Barb, and watched them fly through the ponderosa and lodgepole pine forest to the cheerful log cabin Sean and Barb lovingly built for peace and quiet and peace of mind. The kids were pink-cheeked and exhilarated by the time they arrived, talking over one another about how they'd felt just like James Bond. Soon enough, we'd shed our heavy winter gear, stomped the snow from our boots and gathered gratefully around the fire. For years, buffeted by city life, I'd seen photos of this place, blanketed in heavy snow in winter, carpeted in wildflowers in summer, with nothing but untouched vistas as far as the eye could see, and thought of it wistfully as the perfect oasis. Now, with a weekend off between two conferences in Cheyenne to the south and Jackson Hole to the north, Casper not only made sense as the perfect midpoint stop, but also as a welcome chance to visit extended family and finally have a chance to...Read more
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