Today’s Route

If my trip goes more or less as I've mapped it out in my head, today I will be driving from somewhere in Idaho, not far from Grand Targhee (which, granted, is actually in Wyoming), back home to Boulder.

I will be taking a specific and not exactly obvious route. At some point I realized that an interesting way to end this trip would be to follow the route I took with Nolus's then-girlfriend Luna when she and I drove to Colorado at the end of a trip to Jackson/Targhee back in January of 2012. Nolus and I had driven from Colorado to Victor, ID, (just on the Idaho side of Teton Pass) and met Luna and Nolus's friend Jesse there for a snowboarding trip. (They'd come from Portland, OR.) At the end of the trip, Nolus was going with Jesse to Portland for a party he didn't want to miss, flying back to Colorado later, and Luna was going to continue on to Colorado--at Nolus's behest, she was moving there. I would be driving Nolus's 4Runner, and Luna was in her own car with all her stuff.

Are you catching the part where Nolus was going to Portland for a party rather than to Colorado with his woman? Let's suffice to say that as an awake and conscious individual during that trip, Nolus was a far, far cry from his best.

The route is/was this: from Victor, rather than Teton Pass (closed that January because of avalanche), I'll take ID-31 southeast across Pine Creek Pass (where I spun out in Nolus's bald-tired 4Runner and put it into a snowbank), then US-26 past Palisades Reservoir to Alpine, WY, then continuing east/northeastward to Hoback Junction. There I'll pick up US-191 (probably not an ice sheet as it was back in '12) to Rock Springs and I-80. Perhaps I will go to the Walmart where I pushed Luna around in a shopping cart at 2am, exhausted but slightly giddy at having survived (not entirely an exaggeration) day one of what ended up being a two-day drive. Along I-80 I will reflect on the place where a combination of wind and ice caused Luna to spin out her car, narrowly missing a snowplow, a tractor-trailer and a guardrail and somehow ending up no worse than terribly shaken. I don't suspect I'll face the whiteout conditions I did on I-80 that day as I make my way to Laramie, where I'll switch onto US-287 toward Ft. Collins, I-25 between Cheyenne and Ft. Collins having been closed that January day for adverse conditions.

So though it is a slightly less efficient route from the Targhee area than the obvious route over Teton Pass, its greater significance makes the added difficulty worthwhile. I don't know what, if anything, I'm expecting to find by driving this route, but once the idea arose, it felt appropriate. It felt right.

That 2012 trip was horrible. I expect things will go rather better this time around.

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