Sunday, February 21, 2010

In Wyoming

I made it to Wyoming a couple of days ago. I'm getting Internet from the neighbor's house which looks like it a good mile away, but these grasslands are so flat that I still get the signal. The sun is glistening off the snow in the front yard, and the only thing I can see is grass and the neighbor. There are four horses and twenty acres out back. The house is very cute and decorated with antlers and horse pictures. The dogs love me, and their short little legs are adorable.

When I came in to Wyoming, the roads were beautifully dry. I didn't have any problems till I was in Douglas, WY. Apparently the cities don't de-ice the roads the way the state does the highways. This southern girl slipped all over their streets until I reached a sign that said "Entering state maintained road", where the ice suddenly disappeared. All the coal mines are off that road, so they always keep it clear for ambulance access needed to keep the mines open everyday of the year non-stop. It was getting dark and the vast nothingness was pitch black in the dark, all I could see was the road, the train with hundreds of coal cars, and the occasional truck.

I was speeding across the grassland when it started to snow. I wasn't worried about ice yet, so didn't mind the snow until I couldn't see the lines on the road anymore, or the road either really. The only thing keeping me on it was these green posts with reflectors. I could feel myself getting hot with fear, so turned off the heater and started breathing deeply to keep myself calm. What was this alien landscape? I stiffened over my steering wheel straining to see through the snow falling to the white fluffy road. I turned on my brights, but then I could only see glowing snowflakes, so turned those off. I tried calling cowboy to come pick me up, but there wasn't any phone signal. So I just kept driving till it got clear out again.

I passed a rest stop, and almost stopped to call cowboy on the pay phone, but the road looked great. So I kept going, and then I ran into even more snow. I stiffened up again worrying about keeping my small car on the road, wherever the road was. A semi-truck came up from behind me, and it was annoyed that I was only going 40mph with my southern city slicker tires. It passed me at around 60 mph and I couldn't see for several seconds as snow flurried around me in a complete white out. Somehow I made it to Gillette, looking at my GPS every few minutes to help count down the miles and give me hope.

After I got there, Cowboy and his best friend needed some beer, so we all got in the truck. I struggled to pull the middle seat belt out, and best friend was all "Why you want to wear that anyway?" Neither of them had seat belts on. Best friend opened another beer in the truck and asked me if I wanted one, I told him I was good. He told me how he broke his back after his friend's truck rolled and he flew out the window, and was grateful to not have been wearing a seat belt. As a former EMT-B who has seen accidents, all I could think was that a seat belt might have prevented the whole back breaking thing, but what did I know. I asked what happened to the others in the truck, and he said they were all fine (because they were strapped down). He added some interesting and wild stories about some horse sale up north that is a huge cowboy party, they both said I should come this year. I was in Wyoming.

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