Teeth-chattering, ice-enveloped nights chased me out of Yellowstone, and after one beautiful night high up on a mountain pass in Montana and another night spent defrosting and staying dry during a deluge in Cody, I headed back toward Yellowstone to work my way down to the Grand Teton National Park.
The pass was closed because of the blizzard when I reached Yellowstone, and there was nothing to do but turn around and retrace my long, curvy, snow-hugged path back to Cody.
It wasn’t snowing in Cody, but as I made the long loop around to reach the Tetons from the only other way (which added an additional six hours to my drive) I caught back up with the blizzard and it kept me close company for the duration of the journey.
It felt surreal, winding along that curvy, alpine-draped road through the mountains, the snow falling thick and hard as though it didn’t even care that it was only the 1st of October and the weather had been in the high 70s just days before.
I cared, though; although feeling like I’m in a snow globe is fun for brief snatches of time, driving mountain passes in a blizzard isn’t my favorite.
By the time I reached the Tetons I was white-knuckled and tired-eyed.
But that first view — soaring peaks enveloped in a billowing robe of fog and snow and teasing sunlight — was breath snatching and made the extra six hours of driving and everything else that wild wintry day involved absolutely worth it.