F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --
As the feeling of needles hit my skin and my body begins to shake with unstoppable tremors, my thoughts go back to happier days. I am originally from the bleak and lifeless Phoenix desert where the sun on my skin was an everyday occurrence that filled me up with happiness and warmth. Phoenix was dry and hot, but I liked it that way.
As I continued walking the 20 steps from my house to my car, more needles hit my exposed face with the constant Wyoming wind gusts, knocking me back to reality, ‘oh that’s right, I’m stationed in Wyoming, and its winter.'
Having gone through one winter, which was like being stuck in a freezer for six months, I feel like I have learned a few lessons about surviving in the snow that need to be shared. I am no expert on living in snow, but hope to pass on some lessons I’ve learned.
Snow is cold. Instead of wearing flip flops, I was wearing insulated boots that made me feel like a polar bear in the arctic. Remember this, staying warm is a lot easier than getting warm. The space in my closet seemed to decrease with each dense piece of clothing I purchased, from thermals to big jackets, my collection grew as the temperature dropped.
The only other part I feared was driving in the snow, which luckily for me, I didn’t crash last winter.
I have a four-wheel drive vehicle, but I think it’s the new tires that gave me the traction I needed to control my vehicle on snow. An emergency kit was also an essential item I placed in my vehicle. Equipped with blankets, candles, first aid kit and enough supplies to last me awhile in case I got stuck on the snowy country roads.
Cheyenne mainly uses sand instead of salt and occasionally plows the road. Knowing your car and maintaining it will give you an edge around this small city. Be proud of driving slower than a June bug in molasses because when that first snow hits the ground, everyone slows down to be safe.
Maybe: The snow has its benefits, I did have fun when I wasn’t driving or trying to stay warm in my house; heat cranked up to inferno.
For example, the base’s Outdoor Recreation Center offers multiple trips a month from snowshoeing to ski trips in the Colorado Rockies. They have at least two ski trips a month to ski resorts such as Loveland, Vail, and my personal favorite, Winter Park. If you want to see the multitude of trips they offer year-round visit www.funatwarren.com.
Just because it’s snowing doesn’t mean life stands still. Cheyenne is still a pretty active town in the winter season. There are plenty of activities and festivals in Cheyenne and nearby cities that one can attend.
While I may not be in my beloved hot sunny weather year-round, the snow season only lasts a few months. The snow eventually melts away just like the witch in The Wizard of Oz, and I get to have a nice spring, summer, and fall here in Wyoming.