Scott and Sheila, my heroes.
Sorry sports fans. The title of this post is misleading. It has nothing to do with sweet sixteen, final four, college hoops battles. But...may the best team win. (Since my UW Cowboys aren't even in the running, Go Sooners!)
This post has to do with spring in Wyoming. In some parts of the country, March brings...tulips, sunshine, maybe some light rain showers. In Wyoming it brings...snow, mud, ice, wind, 10-foot drifts, blizzards, unintentional off-roading, power outages. March brings madness. One day we're all out enjoying evening bike rides with friends, and the next we're stranded in a white out and very, very late for work. Ever heard of cabin fever?
Earlier this week, I had to drive to a town about an hour away to lead a training session for the Census Bureau. When I left at seven in the a.m., it was raining. Eleven miles later, it was snowing. Hard. Fast. The interstate was coated with about four inches of icy slush. The icy slush coated my radiator. My car froze up. I went off roading for the first time that day.
I got back on the road. The snow turned to a blizzard with 50-plus mile an hour winds. My windshield wiper shredded. I off roaded a bit more. A kind fellow helped me duct tape the wiper.
I got back on the road. I couldn't see past my hood. I decided to turn around and call off training. I couldn't see the exit. I off roaded onto the next exit and flipped a U-turn.
I got back on the road. Nine a.m. Thirty miles down. Still couldn't see past my hood. Went off roading. Got stuck. Got passed by a lot of cars. Started to cry. Two men came over and pushed me out. Two miles back to Glendo.
I got back on the road. Zigged. Zagged. Went off road again. Cried some more. Pulled myself together. Snow plow drove by. I stalked it.
I got inside a gas station and got some coffee. Ten thirty a.m. Thirty-eight miles in over three hours of driving. Whew.
Roads closed in entire Eastern half of the state. Everybody was snowed in.
But, being snowed in has its advantages. I was rescued by Scott and Sheila, two people who attend my church but whom I didn't know. We became fast friends.
Scott and his son drove in from their ranch 14 miles away. It took them 45 minutes. We had to dig out the truck three times to get back to their home. Sheila fed me and gave me a warm bed. I played games with their son and daughter. I felt safe.
Though training was cancelled for four days to allow the storm to pass, I don't regret the time lost. Because it wasn't lost. It was a gain to get to know my heroes. Everyday ranch folk became extraordinary in their hospitality. I am grateful.
* See above for photos of the storm and photos of Scott and Sheila's valiant efforts to get me home through nearly impossible conditions.