Fortunately for the people around me, my mood picked up this week as I planned a 4-day trip to Absarokee to visit my dad and brother. Ah, the fun we would have, walking the dog, road tripping in the 4 wheel drive, taking pictures of everything and enjoying the fun family things we always do when I’m there. I knew I would come back refreshed and rejuvenated.
I was to leave Friday. Emphasis on “was”. Thursday a storm came through, bringing snow, wind and cold. Not a big thing to me; I’m a tough Montana chick and I’ve been driving in blizzards for decades. Friday morning, I packed the car, checked my winter survival kit and hit the road.
Conditions were…interesting. There was no doubt it was icy. It had warmed up considerably and there was just enough water on top of the ice in the driving lane to make it treacherous. The passing lane, however, was snow packed and hardly slick at all. I drove in the passing lane for several miles, listening to XM radio and singing to the music. Nothing white knuckle at all (ok, I’m lying here, but it wasn’t bad enough to make me turn back and miss out on a chance to spend time with my family).
About 4 miles out of town, a brand new black Dodge Ram, fully tricked out, appeared in my rear-view mirror. I pulled back into the driving lane to let him by. He passed me like I was stopped and headed off down the road like a bat out of blazes. I was just considering pulling back into the (safer) passing lane when I saw the Dodge in front of me fishtail a little, and then lose it completely. Round and round he went on the ice, finally going off the right side of the road, nose first. Why it didn’t roll, I’ll never know.
I could tell from the activity in the cab that he was fine. Stuck big-time, but physically ok. I slowed down, but didn’t stop. I called the highway patrol on my cell and told them about the accident. They had someone in the area and were sending him immediately. I was about 500 yards from the exit to Colstrip, 5 miles from home and 155 miles from Absarokee.
I did the right thing. I pulled into the exit and took the frontage road home. It was snow packed and slightly icy, but much safer than the interstate.
Mother Nature hates me.
Though I rarely wallow in self-pity, when I do, I do it well. I came home, put on my sweats and readied myself for a long weekend of misery. I surfed the net for awhile, reading blogs and doing some research for an article I’m writing for the work newsletter. I updated the website a bit and got ready for bed.
I woke up this morning feeling very blah. I waddled dejectedly into the kitchen for a cup of coffee and sat down at the computer to continue my research. To be honest, it wasn’t going well…my heart just wasn’t into it, nor was my brain. I decided to abandon work and check out some of my favorite blogs. The first one I clicked on was Looking Up. If you haven’t checked out that blog, you should. Cathy is an awesome photographer and a wonderful human being. Her posts are always upbeat and thought provoking.
This is from her Friday, December 29th post:
"Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. Deal with brute nature. Be cold and hungry and weary." Henry David Thoreau
For some reason, that quote hit home. I put on my coat, my boots, grabbed the camera and took off through the snow…
I'm feeling much better now.