Thursday, November 13, 2014

The First Leg of my Journey


    On a cold november day on the palouse as the wind whispered through the leafless trees, and the wind howled against the structured 3 story building that I called home I decided to set off on another adventure; one that would entail much drama and self-sacrifice, one that would mean risking my living, education and transportation. Yet there are times in life, you understand the cause is greater than the uncertainty, the reward worth the sacrifice. I understood the peril and unwilling to delay any longer, I grabbed most of my possessions, which entailed one box. I quickly went through my list: chains, jumper cables, and a spare tank of gasoline, check. With my dilapidated beater of a a car I nicknamed Frankenstein "frankie" for short I sped west into the Montana wilderness. 'Oklahoma or bust' and I just might be flint stonin' my ass there.  Majestic scenery arrested my senses as I was witness to many aspen pines shedding their foliage to allow for a pretty autumn scene. As I meandered around steep mountain slopes opening up to more river valleys and picturesque scenic terrain my thoughts wandered, I was satisfied to finally be leaving the barren slopes of the palouse, where I had spent the last 6 months. I had endured a long hard summer. After many series of misfortunate events that ended in my loss of driving; I biked 16 miles a day from my pullman place of residence to Moscow, ID where I worked. It was a hard and grueling summer, but I learned from that experience. From my whimsical, caution to the wind, devil be damned mentality to actually focusing on actions affecting people and other potential pratfalls and piercing pain that arose from my careless attitude. However, I was on a mission, an undertaking involving a rescue. A damsel in distress was the target of this journey. One thing many people come to understand about me is when I set to my mind to something, nothing will change it, and I accomplish what I set out for. You can stand me up to the gates of hell as the great Tom Petty sings, but I won't back down. That was my hard headed mindset as I was driving through the greater plains of Montana, transitioning now to more barren plains as I crossed into Missoula. I stayed at Helena for the night, on a friends couch. And was up and gone around 5 am the next day heading southbound toward Yellowstone. Upon reaching the entrance however, I was stopped and sent back. This was not well forethought; winter closures prevented my passage through the park. Annoyed as all get out, I traveled back to Bozeman and cut south through Idaho and Wyoming, 4 hours of daylight and a full tank of gasoline was wasted, yet my spirits were still somehow high. Making my way through mountainous terrain and steep passes I finally transitioned to the plains of southern  Wyoming.

      It was nightfall by the time I passed the border, westbound through I-80, around 9 pm i saw my battery light come on after a disturbing high pitched sound. I eased my way to the side of the freeway and found my serpentine belt shattered, ripping out the shredded remains of the belt. I sat back in my car and reached for my backpack, locating my fifth of unopened vodka. I took a big pull, knowing for times like these, this was well warranted. I called AAA and about 50 minutes later a tow arrived and I jumped in, my car in tow, 60 miles westbound we arrived in Rawlins, WY and I was dropped outside an auto repair shop. I leaped out and immediately was met with the bone chilling pain of the cold. A blizzard was whisping through the state and I was caught with my pants down, full victim to the piercing gale as I left my blanket in Helena. I reached back prying open the trunk and grabbing as many handfuls of linen, and cloths as I could reach, piled them on me. I woke up with my car vibrating and shaking in the force of the gale. I was freezing my pubes off. With no hope for releif save for the slow approaching morning light I burrowed into the conglomerate mess of clothing and  slept uncomfortably.

    I woke up and tunneled my way out of a mess of clothing, upon opening the door I was greeted with a fresh blast of icy chill, and stumbled my way out toward the front door of the auto repair shop. The receptionist was cute and friendly, with a wide smile she asked how my night was. Any other day I would've  returned her friendly gesture with a warm reply, but I felt like a hibernating bear being sharply roused from slumber before he's due. I explained my dire circumstance and need for repair, locating the coffee pot when finished. I poured a large cup and found a seat. The people next to me were Wyoming bred, clearly. The was an 80 year old woman with a pointy nosed mutt,  a cowboy resembling the lone texas ranger and a feeble old man with a cane and furrowed brow who looked like he wanted to kill you just for the mere crime of looking at him. I took my place beside the classy posse and waited for a good hour. The make of my S belt was unique and I waited for approx 5 more hours before the right one was eventually shipped in from out of town. I was on the road again around 2pm and promptly blew a tire an hour later. Locating my 4-way and jack in the trunk I wrenched it off and drove another 2 hours to the auto repair shop, where I purchased 2 new tires. The cost of my auto repairs was more than I budgeted for and I rolled into Steamboat Springs Colorado broke as a joke. I had connections however in Steambpoat, through my aunts family, and my uncle Jason offered me a job for a couple days power washing Snowmobiles, dirtbikes and 4-wheelers for some cash. I left steamboat a little richer that friday morning and rolled onward toward my trips destination in Oklahama...."OOOOk-lahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain and the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet when the wind comes right"...

(to be continued)

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