I left my cousin and good friends Sunday around 2 P.M. in Bozeman. Beautiful day, cold, clear, mountains everywhere. The highway West was clear, no ice, and there wasn't much traffic.
In this part of the world at this time of year the sun sets around 4:30 P.M. I stopped in Butte, bought some gas and headed west. Drove through beautiful high plains, past rivers, through mountain passes, and I as I got just outside of Missoula, I suddenly hit a wall of blowing snow, and icey roads. About 3 minutes later the little truck I was driving started skidding and sliding. I scrambled to get control of the vehicle, and to avoid hitting either another car or the rails. in my rear view mirror there was a semi tractor trailer, and I had visions of him driving over me.
I was barely able to keep from losing control. I guess all the driving in ice and snow in Minnesota as a kid plus a bit of divine intervention saved my skin.
Suddenly I saw cars in the ditch, cars turned totally around, and emergency vehicles everywhere. I saw ahead an exit, and the sign for a Days Inn.
15 minutes later I was checked in, had kicked back, and was mulling over how close I came to either wrecking the truck or myself.
This is a beautiful part of the world. But winters are hard, and it's not even December!
p.s. It's 11/29/2004 5:18 P.M. , I made it to Portland, about to take a train to Seattle. Truck delivered.... one journey ends, another begins...