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Old 09-02-2012, 11:33 PM
 
11,286 posts, read 46,213,310 times
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I'd suggest that you also look into the Sundance area in NE Wyoming.

This is into the "black hills" area of Wyoming, and while it, too, is a tourist area in the summer months ... there's a huge area of public lands there that are spectacular for trail riding. Decent access via the I-90 corridor to Rapid City for the amenities of a bigger population base, more trail riding in their area of the Black Hills, and some very nice lakes up in that area.

Milder winters there than down here in SE WY, too.
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:00 AM
 
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Ok.. I was originally drawn to that area, would love to live near Devils Tower, I've always found it fascinating. Just so I'm clear.. winter is milder to the north (that is just crazy), even milder in the NW, but only if you get in the valley between the two mountain ranges (because cody is NOT in the valley and the wind is apparently horrible). I was looking up powell on the map and noticed the road that leaves it and goes to sheridan closes due to weather, according to google... is there another way around to get to gillette or casper or are you trapped until it clears? Also do the airports close often in the winters with all this snow and wind? It all sounds so awful I'm wondering how the husband is supposed to travel to and from location... considering we are not just talking about a week here or there but months of winter. The weather charts on city-data show you only above freezing at night 3-4 months out of the year. I've read reports of the highways being closed, semi trucks and even trains being blown over.. seriously?
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Wyoming
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I always get a chuckle out of hearing of the "banana belts" in Wyoming, as it seems it's wherever the person talking lives. A friend of mine from Lander says it's the banana belt. Some say it's Sheridan. Those living in the Big Horn Basin insist it's the banana belt. The truth is, we got no bananas in Wyoming! But cold and wind are greatly affected by the elevation. Most of southern Wyoming is at a higher elevation than northern Wyoming, so that's (mostly) why it's colder and windier than northern Wyoming. Yes, many of our rivers run north.

The Sundance and Devils Tower area in NE Wyoming is nice, and don't overlook the area south of Sundance to Newcastle.

No, Powell doesn't get snowed in for the winter. Hwy 14 Alternate does close for the winter, but you can still take Hwy 14 or 16 across the Big Horns or get to Billings and I-90. These roads may close a few days each year, but not usually for more than a day at a time, in fact often only for a few hours unless it's one of our few major blizzards. I-80 or I-25 south of Douglas to Cheyenne closes more often.

Airport closures are also fairly rare. While any will close during a major storm, sometimes including only blowing snow, they don't stay closed for long. When I flew my own plane, I'd often fly somewhere because the roads were closed due to ground blizzards (blowing snow). Airports have their own snow removal equipment and only have to clear a couple miles of runways and taxiways.

Yes, semi trucks can certainly blow over, especially in the southern corridor along I-80 and I-25. There are often restrictions/warnings against travel in "high profile vehicles" in that area. That's not just a Wyoming thing. My sister's farm in Iowa is on I-80, and they see trucks blown over every year. On a trip back to Gillette from Denver a couple years ago, my wife and I counted more than a dozen vehicles turned over along I-25 between Cheyenne and Douglas, all "high profile" vehicles -- semis, small trailers, camping trailers, pickups with campers, etc. Trains? I can't remember seeing or reading of any that were blown over by a straight wind, but I imagine it's possible with an empty train.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Cabin Creek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waymire01 View Post
at least in CA, TX, OK, and LA.
Got a cousin her husbane works for BP, they been in Wy, LA, TX back to Wy, then Ice land,TX, Scotland now back in TX. She was really horsy growing up , thier one son buckarooed in Nev and Mt then was coeboying in Texas when a horse stepped in a hole and broke his hip and pelvis, she was riding at the fairgrounds here at home 3 years ago, got bucked off and head hit a post she was in a coma for a month. her and her son don't ride any more.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:11 AM
 
11,286 posts, read 46,213,310 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waymire01 View Post
Ok.. I was originally drawn to that area, would love to live near Devils Tower, I've always found it fascinating. Just so I'm clear.. winter is milder to the north (that is just crazy), even milder in the NW, but only if you get in the valley between the two mountain ranges (because cody is NOT in the valley and the wind is apparently horrible). I was looking up powell on the map and noticed the road that leaves it and goes to sheridan closes due to weather, according to google... is there another way around to get to gillette or casper or are you trapped until it clears? Also do the airports close often in the winters with all this snow and wind? It all sounds so awful I'm wondering how the husband is supposed to travel to and from location... considering we are not just talking about a week here or there but months of winter. The weather charts on city-data show you only above freezing at night 3-4 months out of the year. I've read reports of the highways being closed, semi trucks and even trains being blown over.. seriously?
You need to consider the altitude and topography of the lands in light of the prevailing storm frontal passages through this area to understand where the windy areas are and aren't. Look up the wind energy density charts and that will give you a better idea of where the windy areas are located. Once you get to the exposed locations in S WY, such as Casper through to Cheyenne, Laramie, along the I-80 corridor and southern I-25 corridor ... you're in windy, cold, gusty country for the winter months.

Road closures are more common in the southern areas. As well, severe road conditions with low visibility and icy roads, sometimes obscured roads due to blowing and drifting snow ... are causes for many road accidents. Vehicles do get blown off the road. I did one Casper to Cheyenne trip last winter after I-25 had been closed for a day where I observed the tracks of over two dozen vehicles off the road, and came upon a number of other vehicles that had just taken an off-highway excursion. They were doing 55-70 mph, which is a speed that semi's can routinely do in these conditions, while I ... in a conversion van ... was comfortable only at 45-ish or so in the extreme right hand lane. I passed some of those folk shortly after they had gone off the road. The road didn't clear until well south of Chugwater, a very famous site for strong gusty winds ....

I'm wondering if your "400 mile radius" of Casper still requires that your husband is routinely in Casper for work. If so, you'd be well advised to live close to Casper with that requirement. Probably not more than 30 miles out would be a reasonable guideline if he must be in to work. A several hundred mile commute would be a disaster at one point or another in an average year.

Airports, even the major ones, can be shut down for awhile due to low IFR and poor surface conditions. The facilities maintenance folk are pretty good at getting them back into service, but do keep in mind that commercial service throughout the state is rather limited ... even Cheyenne only gets a few flights per day. Our little rural airstrips struggle with winter time conditions to keep operational, and it's sometimes problematic to get in/out of these for us GA pilots. I've spent many a day digging out my hangar so I could open the doors after the ramp was cleared and pushed a huge drift of snow up against my doors. Many times, I've used a weed burner torch to melt the snow/ice so that I could shovel it out ... taking hours to clear my hangar doors so I could get my plane out.

If my comments re living here in Wyoming is "hell ... only cold" to you, then I strongly urge you to make the committment to come visit here before making any decision about where to locate. I've posted what I observe here, not some hollywood fairy tale ....

It might be of interest to you to understand what those fences are that are in the pastures adjacent to the highways and many roads. They're not for livestock control, they are "snow fences" which are intended to keep blowing/drifting snow back from the highway. Take a look at where they are located, and see how many of them are in some areas. This may be an indication to you of how common the blowing/drifting snow can be. It's not uncommon for a road to get blown drifted over days after a snowstorm has passed through due to the snow on the ground getting blown around. Similarly, your driveway at home and access to the road can get blown into huge drifts even with a minimal amount of snowfall. Site layout and wind patterns due to structures adjacent are crucial issues often not discovered until you are into a winter month.

Suffice for me to say here that I've observed many families go through their first winter here and leave as quickly as possible, even if it meant a serious loss of money to do so. It looks like I get to be the naysayer here again, but it's been well posted on many "moving to Wyoming threads" by many of the regulars on this forum that "Wyoming isn't for everyone" ... even those who will sing the praises of what is here, it's simply not everybody's "cup of tea". It's a decision that only you and your family can make. Again, I strongly urge you to come and do your own due diligence before making a decision. A Wyoming summer has nothing to do with the realities of living here in the winter months, and the winters can be half the year.

I have a neighbor who is a pro in the rodeo biz. She rides her training horses throughout the winter. You'll see her on their track and in their outdoor arena in sub-zero temps, all bundled up in her carhartts and balaclava and scarves and gloves and winter boots, riding horse after horse through a day. Not for me, thanks ... but for her, it's a job and her income to have those horses ready for the rodeo circuit in the spring. I used to own a 240 x 160 indoor arena, and it was so brutally cold to ride in during the winter months that I got out of it as soon as I could. Fortunately, it was a commercial facility and there was a willing buyer, so it was easy to sell without a loss. But it was a huge disappointment for me; I actually used it more in the fall and spring to get out of the wind than I ever did to ride there in the winter. Even when I installed overhead radiant heaters, it was still too uncomfortable for me to ride in the winter months. Condition of your horses is also important, some aren't acclimated to the cold temps and it's rather hard on them .....

You would not be the first family that jumped onto a job opportunity in Wyoming only to discover to your dismay afterwards that living in Wyoming is such a paradigm shift that it is unacceptable to you. But only you can make that decision. Wyoming folk will welcome you to be here, but what it takes to stay here and be happy is a most personal decision. There is a price/value ratio that only you can justify to yourself and family. I don't intend to be negative here, I just want you to be as well informed as possible about what you are about to do, moving to Wyoming. All of us will welcome you to Wyoming, but we also know that the climate and living conditions here aren't for everybody.

Last edited by sunsprit; 09-03-2012 at 10:21 AM..
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
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A small bit of info. I get the road reports for I-90, I-25 from Montana to Casper, Hwy 16, and Hwy 14. THose reports comin on my cell phone and to my computer. This last winter was pretty mild, But I-90 from Gillette to the South Dakota State Line was closed 4 times more often then I-90 from Gillette to the Montana State Line. So when people say it's milder in the NE corner of the state, they are misinformed.

Now, I-90 between Buffalo and Gillette was closed twice as often as I-90 from Buffalo to the Montana State Line.

That shows you right there that the face of the Big Horns gets less wind and storm. I've heard it said time after time that Gillette and Sheridan get the same weather. Weather archives doesn't agree with that claim. UNITED STATES CLIMATE NORMALS 1981-2010

Even during the summer the weather has been much different. Cambell County, Crook County, Weston County, Big Horn County, Washakie County, and Johnson County have had Numerous "Severe Weather Warnings" this year. Sheridan County has had ZERO so far this year.

From Douglas, going East to the South Dakota State Line, seems to be our tornado alley.
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Cabin Creek
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NE corner there a little black hill forest, alot of that timber country is private, there more public land in SD,the real big forest service area in NE Wyo is national grasslands.
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Cabin Creek
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http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medial...le.dat/nfo.pdf
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:05 PM
Status: "Support the Mining Law of 1872" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Cody, WY
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I'm assuming that you plan to find a place in the next few months. It would be a good idea to visit several times during the winter to experience what we have. There are people who hate Wyoming but they usually hate our state because of our conservative values (Obama carried a lower percentage of Wyoming's vote than he did of any other state). They can't wait to leave and I, for one, am glad to see them go. Some transplants leave because we don't provide enough of a social life centered around bars or drugs. They're no loss. But I've never seen a post about leaving Wyoming just because of the weather nor have I ever spoken to anyone who did it. I'm sure it happens but I suspect it's rare. People who can't tolerate cold weather apparently move here much. But this isn't Antarctica, or even Manitoba. We don't have electrical outlets on parking meters to plug in our engine heaters. Please note that Sunsprit who discourages everyone who wants to move here still lives here himself. I'm originally from the Midwest and I'll take Wyoming winters and every other season to that place any day of the week.

But be sure to visit in other seasons as well. Hot, humid days are unknown here. Temperatures may be over 90, over 100 in Sheridan and the Big Horn Basin. But it's dry heat. You won't walk around with beads of sweat dripping off the end of your nose. Right now the temperatures around Cody are in the seventies in the daytime, fiftyish at night. It doesn't get any better than that.

People here will be welcoming and friendly to people like you. Don't worry about the occasional sourpuss who looks like he's been eating a lemon. And remember, we have many, many folks who moved from the South for our conservative values and lack of "diversity"; they wouldn't leave here for anything. Wyoming isn't just a place; it's a way of life.
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:28 PM
 
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I made a mistake when I said temp below freezing 3-4 months out of the year.. I meant ABOVE freezing only 3-4 months out of the year. I honestly do not know how anyone could garden successfully or raise small livestock in those conditions.

Sunsprit: I never said I did not believe you. But you do seem to have a different outlook than the others who have commented, probably due to your location. The husband does not have to be in Casper on a regular basis, perhaps a few times a year. Most of his contact with the office is via phone or computer. 90% of his time is going from location to location, usually staying in one place for weeks at a time. The locations are usually in the "middle of nowhere" and he does have to be able to get to local resources for food, etc., commonly a 30-45 minute drive in good conditions. I on the other hand am usually home alone for weeks, or sometimes months, at a time. I do have my kids.. but my son is almost 18 and he will probably be on his own soon. I have looked in a 400 mile radius in every direction, and the conditions are either the same, or worse in every case.

Jody_wy: that is really bad luck for your friends. You never know what will happen on a horse. Thanks for pointing out the differences in public vs. private land.. it is a big deal with horses. I have been locked in by private land before (especially in TX) and it really defeats the purpose of moving.. you can see the land, but can't ride in or across it so it makes no difference. Right now we live 1/4mi outside of the city limits.. and two years ago the city passed legislation banning all livestock, so we cannot ride anywhere anymore without bypassing the city. The only way around is a two lane paved road with no shoulder and 50mph heavy traffic. Not safe to ride.

Elkhunter: thank you, the link and tornado info were very helpful. Most of the info I have found focuses on the averages.. it's been hard to find the extremes... which are what matter IMO. I do NOT want to live in tornado country again. If we move I really hope to avoid any extreme weather risk, our last few homes have either had to deal with devastating ice, tornadoes, floods, or hurricaines.. I'm a bit tired of living in fear, and rebuilding every two years. I really want to live somewhere with "normal" weather for a change. I understand that no place is perfect, and bad things can happen anywhere.. but there is a difference between a "freak occurrence" and "expected catastrophe". If state of emergency and natural disaster have a "season".. no thank you.

I really do not think moving there is in our best interest. While the husband lived in Montana for several years and liked it, after looking it up he was in the extreme NW corner of the state (Troy MT), and conditions are much better there. It does snow, but the weather is milder on average, with a shorter winter, and the wind is much less. I think we would be jumping out of the sauna.. and into the freezer, lol. I'm sure it is beautiful in the summer, and would love to visit. I appreciate all of your help, I have learned quite a bit. I also understand my old QH better now.. he was foaled in WY, and was sold to a guy in TX when he was five.. he is the toughest, most instinctual, and best "put together" horse I have ever seen.. almost a different species compared to the other horses I have known. I always attributed it to his breeding, but I know now that it was starting in such a harsh environment. Most of the foundational aspects of a horse (feet, muscle, bone, joints, ability to learn and adapt) are formed in the first four years.. and he is tempered steel.

Just got off the phone with him.. and he doesn't believe me, lol. I only got a couple of minutes with him on the phone so I did not have much time to state my case. Now he wants me to look further out, UT maybe or further N. in MT. So I'm back to the research. Any idea how far north you have to go for things to mellow out.. Butte MT looked like it was much better, weather wise. Doesn't UT get a lot of tornadoes?
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