With snow clouds threatening us, Cowboy and I drove and hour away to Buffalo, WY for dinner on Friday night. He doesn't say much, especially to me, so the trip was silent, except for his country CDs. I told him he needed to take me out, I wanted to get to know more about him. He refuses to go out in Gillette though, saying that there is no place good to go. I ordered a buffalo burger, although the menu was full of steak from game species like elk. I waited to see what he ordered, smothered chicken, and priced my meal around the same. If he would have ordered the pricey elk steak, I would have gotten it too. There are plenty of elk steaks in the freezer at home though.
There were several dead animals on the walls of the Bozeman Steakhouse. I had an elk glaring at me as I devoured it's delicious hoofed cousin set in a fresh bun with bacon and cheese on it. There was a moose above my head, a buffalo on the wall, and even a cow head looking at me with it's glass eyes. There were several other dead critters, including a bear and an mountain lion, standing around stuffed. This was a real steak house, in a place where people take pride in their dead stuffed animals.
After dinner, he wanted to drive up the Bighorn Mountains a little, and despite my extreme fear of the ice now on the roads, I agreed to go. We passed the Bureau of Land Management office along the way, and I looked at it with wide hopeful eyes that I might work in that office someday, even though Buffalo doesn't de-ice their streets in the winter. We started up the mountain and both of us kept an eye on the thermometer in his truck mirror. It slowly decreased in number the further up we climbed, his truck sliding a bit on the white frosty mountain road. Every time the truck fish-tailed, he just laughed, and I tried to stay calm and trust that he would keep us on the road with the steep drop-offs on the side. This was his expertise, having driven on ice covered roads all of his life. He even went to high school here in Gillette, my greatest fear was nothing to him. He stopped at a point of interest, the snow on the road looked to be about half a foot already. I bundled up and went leaping outside where I read a few signs about the area as the fat flakes fell on my face. Cowboy stayed in the truck with a cigarette, he's seen snow before and didn't feel the need to get out. I got back in the truck, kicking packed snow off my boots. He asked if I wanted to go up higher, and my answer was no.
We passed a couple of snow plows on the way down, working to clear the fast falling snowflakes from the road for the snow mobile crowd that would be heading up that night and the next morning. The whole drive home, the snow was falling thick, and it looked to me like we were driving through some warp tunnel as he kept his truck effortlessly on the icy highway. He pulled over at a rest stop and told me it was my turn to drive. I can barely drive his truck, there was no way I was driving it across ice for another hour. Thankfully he talked a lot on the way home, his silence worries me that he may not like being around me. We are still getting to know each other, and I think he likes me, but I wish he was more affectionate. I am a Leo after all, and crave more attention from him.