Utah’s high elevations, and some people, welcome October snow

Oct 11, 2023, 6:38 PM | Updated: 7:10 pm

KAMAS — You can still see the crisp fall colors as you head along Mirror Lake Highway in Summit County.

“It’s like, ahhh,” said Kristy Riley-Gibbs with a laugh.

She loves this time of year, especially since she lives in Dallas.

So, while visiting her kids in Utah, she couldn’t wait for this drive.

“In Texas, we don’t have seasons. We have hot, more hot, and fake fall,” she said with another laugh. “So, we came up to see the fall colors and then, surprise! It was snowing. So, we got to do both.”

Yes, snow. At the top of Mirror Lake Highway at Bald Mountain, it is already looking like winter.

“It is a good start. Let’s kick it off right,” said Chris Morrow.

Morrow lives in Utah and knows how important the snow is for our water supply, where drought has become a familiar word.

“I wouldn’t mind another winter like last year,” he said. “I kind of liked it and we could use it.”

However, Morrow was only out in the snowy weather Wednesday afternoon for something just as important.

“I thought it would be a great snowy day to get up here and do some elevation tests on a diagnostic instrument,” he said.

The Utah company he works for, Biofire, needed to know if a new tool they’re designing to test for diseases works at elevation and colder weather.

“Rhinovirus, pulmonary types of diseases, lots of stuff. A lot of success stories catching and saving a lot of people’s lives,” said Morrow.

Morrow is one of the engineers, so he appreciates this early mountain snow. It gives him the opportunity to do the kind of testing that needed to be done sooner.

“I could wait to do this in a lab in 3 or 4 weeks, but I also want to check and make sure in real life it’s going to do what it needs to do,” he said.

There is no better lab than nature. And for many people, seeing the seasons turn is nature at its best.

“It’s really pretty. It’s gorgeous,” said Riley-Gibbs. “I love it.”

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Utah’s high elevations, and some people, welcome October snow