Friday, April 16, 2010
The Great Divide
Dating someone who lives 90 miles away can be a challenge. That's especially true when a mountain range separates your two homes, and winter descends with storms lining up over the Pacific Ocean like planes circling a major metropolitan airport, just waiting to come ashore and blast said mountains with a fresh covering of snow. One particularly memorable drive occurred on Christmas Eve 2008. It was to be our first Christmas together as a couple. I got over the Blue Mountains OK and down Cabbage Hill, one of the most memorable declines in the American interstate system — six miles of 6 percent grade. The snowstorm, though, was just cranking up. It turned into a near blizzard the closer I got to Teri's. As I bumped along over snowdrifts, following the lights of the rig ahead of me, I thought about all the turmoil I had gone through to get to this point in my life and the joy a future with Teri promised. The storm intensified. Finally I descended into Milton-Freewater. I was home. A few minutes later the state closed the road behind me for lack of visibility. My best gift that year was to be safe and secure with my new family.