Friday 16 May 2014

2014 Day 4 - Cheyenne (WY) to Estes Park (CO)

Time is flying past and still not one single thunderstorm to be witnessed. Since we were in Cheyenne (WY), after a cheeky gym session I contacted Don Day (chief meteorologist for Red Bull Stratos and owner of DayWeather Inc) to ask if we could visit the DayWeather office to see how a similar size privately-owned weather company compared with Weatherquest back in the U.K. I'd met Don previously when he gave a talk to the East Anglia Centre of the Royal Meteorological Society back in November 2013 about the Red Bull Stratos mission, and as ever he was incredibly friendly and welcoming.

DayWeather is based in an old airport control tower overlooking Cheyenne Regional Airport - the new control tower being located on the opposite side of the runway, and a couple of storeys taller. Nevertheless, the old tower gives 360 degree views across southeast Wyoming, stretching to up to 60 miles away - perfect for a weather forecasting office! The tower has several floors of office space, including sound-proofed high-tech radio broadcasting booths. It was a really interesting insight into how a similar-sized company operates on the other side of the pond. I took away some notes of things we could perhaps implement at Weatherquest, and hopefully we'll be able to return the favour to Don and the gang.

Next we headed south back into Oklahoma to Estes Park (CO) where we'd plan to spend the night in the surroundings of the Rocky Mountains. The road from Loveland (CO) to Estes Park (CO) takes you through a river valley in the Rockies, with steep mountain sides on either side of the road. The scenery, however, was spectacular, and made a welcome change to the rather flat, open Plains that we had seen so much of thus far. Snow-cover summits became visible as we pulled into McDonald's (it'd be rude not to!) in Estes Park (CO).
Man meets nature in the Rockies at Estes Park (CO)
Some sunshine makes all the difference!
After chilling in the hotel, we walked down into the centre of town and had a couple of beers in one of the local bars; a great atmosphere with very friendly people always happy to talk to you and interested in what brings us to the area.

STORM CHASE 2014 STATS thus far
McDonald's tally: 7
States visited: 5

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