Dubois Spring Break: Snowy Down Time

Why it may not always be fun here, but it sure isn’t bad …

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100_0140As I said nine days ago, Mother Nature messed with our heads on March 20, giving us a balmy First Day of Spring.

Today, she got serious again. It was our third or fourth day of snow in a week. This time it was snow in earnest, inches of it, deep and soft, blowing sideways from the east.

The dog was in ecstasy outside, leaping and rolling in the drifts.

A gray cloud hung like a fluffy down blanket over our heads, all day .

100_0137 (1) It’s spring break week, and down time in Dubois. The snowmobilers are gone. Many of the restaurants have closed for a few weeks. Even some hard-core full-timers have gone south, including fearless wilderness-loving Becki with her two children, off in search of the sun.

However, in theory we’re not sorry to see more snow this spring, because it means runoff later that will help to grow hay, minimize the risk of fire, and make the valley beautifully green this summer.

I stayed mostly inside, cleaning my desk and baking cookies, glad I didn’t have to go out to feed any horses or cattle.

Yesterday, I realized it’s actually spring break. Over at Town Hall, several parents were in the Council chambers with their teenagers in the morning, having shown up for the monthly visit from WYDOT to help them sign up for drivers’ permits during school break.

I had gone there to commence my divorce from New York and my marriage to Wyoming. It’s long past time to ditch that old photograph, taken way back when my own children were still children. But that’s hardly the most important reason to take this step!

DLs

“You going away this week?” asked a man waiting in front of me in the Council chambers.

“No,” said a woman who had come with her daughter. “We got an allotment up on Union Pass for this summer. Think we’ll try to get the branding done by Friday — if we can, with all the snow that’s coming. Probably they’ll all be too cold and wet still.”

WYDOT“This is such a pain,” I heard someone say behind me. “Those people [from WYDOT] are always so grouchy. They really don’t like coming all the way here from Riverton.”

I didn’t find them grouchy at all. Bureaucratic, sure, but generally pleasant–and understandably concerned about driving back home in the coming snowfall.

Of course, the people waiting to be served had lived in a small town far too long to consider this actually a fairly enjoyable experience, as I did.

“Yeah, it’s not too much fun,” said my friend Tom, resuming his laconic conversation with the people sitting around him, as he sauntered back from the counter to wait for the next step in getting his license renewed. “But at least we’re among friends.”

I thought back to the day when I had that picture taken for my New York license. I had to turn up at the Brooklyn DMV by around 7 AM in order not to have to spend all day getting the job done. I stood in a long line in a featureless corridor and waited at least an hour on my feet before we were let into a huge room with fluorescent lights and long rows of plastic seats.

The clerks behind the counter were truly surly. Nobody said anything unofficial, because we were all strangers.

© Lois Wingerson, 2016

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Author: LivingDubois

I am a retired science journalist, devoted to enjoying and recording the many pleasures of life in the Wyoming's Upper Wind River Valley.

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