Monday, April 27, 2015

Watch the Sign

We-know-better thinking is alive and well among the flatlanders. Temperatures drop, on average, 3.5 degrees for every 1,000 foot increase in elevation. Roads closed in winter means until late May or even June when the road rises above 10,000 feet.

Women rescued from Beartooth Highway

Two women were rescued from the Beartooth Highway on Saturday after becoming stuck in a snowdrift four miles east of Cooke City, Montana.
Both 24-years-old and from Massachusetts and Iowa, their vehicle became stuck in a drift piled in the middle of the highway, according to Park County Sheriff's Office.
In the press release, it stated one woman admitted she drove past the road closed sign on Highway 212 east of Cooke City because she couldn't understand why the road would be closed. The women stated that they did have warm clothes and a small amount of food but no water.
Since the women were unsure of their location, Park County Wyoming's Search and Rescue was activated.
They were found just west of the state line on Highway 212 in Montana.
Two hours after becoming stuck, the vehicle was freed around 11:30 p.m.
Park County Sheriff Scott Steward once again cautioned residents and visitors alike to verify road conditions before venturing into the mountains. “Road conditions can change rapidly at this time of the year, and anyone intending to drive into the mountains should be prepared for inclement conditions,” said Sheriff Steward. “Also, besides checking conditions prior to departure, motorists need to heed any and all posted warning signs.”
To check highway conditions anywhere in Wyoming, dial 1-888-WYO-ROAD or check the Wyoming Department of Transportation's website.

We never travel in the Rocky mountains without a generous supply of water on board. The young ladies were very fortunate. The last couple to blow through the closure sign waited a week to be found. They wrote farewell notes to family and friends.
The highway is a real bear.
Beartooth Highway is a 68 mile stretch of US Highway 212 that, from its western most terminus at the Northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park, runs east to Red Lodge, Montana. While the Highway begins and ends in Montana, a large portion lies within the northwest corner of the State of Wyoming. Because the Beartooth Highway lies within National Forest and National Wilderness boundaries services along the route are limited to rest areas and interpretive sites, with the exception of one commercial property – Top of the World Store – located close to Island Lake Campground. Three communities, the Road’s “gateway communities”, provide access to the Highway, as well as full visitor services. This is important to note as these communities will be used as “home base” for travelers wanting to explore the Highway and surrounding Yellowstone Country.
Beartooth Pass, May 26,, 2014.
Be Weather Ready
Reaching 10,977 feet at Beartooth Pass, and surrounded by 20 mountain peaks that reach over 12,000 feet, the Beartooth Highway crosses some of the most extreme country in the world. The high alpine climate ensures that severe weather conditions occur almost every month of the year. Summertime temperatures can range from the 70s on sunny days to below freezing during sudden snowstorms. Keep these extreme conditions in mind when planning a visit to the Beartooth Highway. Pack appropriate clothing including warm jackets and hats. Those planning outdoor recreation time may want to include additional foot wear and other items that will provide more warmth.
The road is normally plowed by Memorial Day, but closures are common through June due to spring snow storms. From the opening near Memorial Day, the road is seldom closed more than one day to remove the snow. It is not uncommon to experience blizzard type conditions both in the spring and the fall, especially at higher elevations. When these events occur, travel is slowed considerably or the highway is closed until it can be reopened by maintenance crews. Being aware of these possible weather conditional

Be prepared out there and have a great day everyone!

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