Moses Lake, Washington
I found the snow at the bottom of the Pipestone, a steep and winding mountain that crests at 6,393 feet before dropping down to Butte, Montana. In the winter, you can count on snow on the Pipestone.
The signs warned of rapidly changing winter conditons. In the blink of my eye, I crossed from bare pavement to thickly dusted snow to obscured laneways. Last night was the longest night of the year, my worst day, made even worse by the start of my driving day. I pulled out of the Belgrade, Montana Flying J at 0315 Eastern Time 0115 local time, and it took seven hours to travel 295 miles and find daylight at 10:15, my time, as I climbed Lookout Pass to cross into Idaho.
I wanted to plant my foot on the hammer, outrun the darkness, but I plodded along, much of the way at 35 mph, some after Missoula at 45 mph because winter driving is all about patience and luck. The luck failed the driver of a white pickup truck who roared past me, I caught up to him, surrounded by two emergency services rigs and a half dozen crew making preparations to inspect the overturned vehicle. It did not look good.
Several hours later, we were cruising through Washington State, the bright blue sky blinding without sunglasses.
I’ve rewritten Florence and the Machines Dog Days Are Over hit in my head, my song is the Dark Days are Over. Every day, second by second, the days will be longer. I can’t wait.