A storm blew through Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country this past week, and we received the most snow in the region.
When I lived in the big city, a good dumping of snow was not necessarily welcome except by the kids who were always happy with a day off school. Parents had to scramble to make sure everything was under control, commuters had to drive slippery roads to get to work, and everyone had to dig out their driveways and hope the plows didn’t block them in.
Around here we view things differently.
First of all, we live in a dry climate. If it weren’t for the Buffalo Bill Dam just west of town creating a reservoir that supplies irrigation for the farms, our food sources would look a lot different with significantly less local and fresh produce. Tourism and ranching are already big drivers of our economy, and they would be even more dominant without the foresight which resulted in the ability to irrigate our lands.
When the snow falls, we invariably tell our out-of-town family and friends “It’s great news. We can use the moisture.”
Like much of the country, our Wyoming fall was warmer than normal, and we enjoyed the opportunities for a little extra hiking, riding, golfing and such. But like many of my friends, I was itching after a while to put away the hiking boots and strap on the snow shoes and skis.
And like my cousins in Iowa who are always lamenting about not enough (or too much) rain, many of the snow-dependent businesses were reminding me that they needed more snow. They aren’t worried any more.
Our local ski hill, Sleeping Giant Ski Area
opens Saturday and I plan on heading up there for a day of great skiing. While I am never truly out of shape, I have some skiing muscles that could use a good workout. I checked the hill’s web cam, and there’s an awfully nice looking view of the hill covered in the white stuff.
Sleeping Giant is a community-run ski area in its sixth year of operation. Last year it expanded its fifth graders ski free program to include fifth graders nationwide. Sleeping Giant features three chairlifts, snowmaking equipment, magic carpet and two terrain parks with a wide range of features – including quarter pipes, rails, boxes and jumps – that were constructed largely of materials found on the mountain. The resort has 184 skiable acres with a total of 49 runs, a base elevation of 6,619 feet, vertical drop of 810 feet and an average snowfall of 150 inches.
I plan on getting my legs back before I hit the jumps and rails very hard. A couple of days on the slopes should do it, especially since I plan to mix in a little cross country skiing and snow shoeing.
I could use some company. Come join me.
Until next week, I am lovin’ life – and the moisture – in Cody, Wyo.