Wreck ahead, the signs warned. It was the middle of the afternoon on a Friday in late January. The freeway was supposedly in great condition. I crept along in the Prius, my 43 miles per gallon miracle car, in the Grande Ronde River canyon, just west of La Grande. A series of flares warned of trouble ahead. An Oregon Department of Transportation snowplow truck was in the other lane, spreading deicer. Ahead I saw the SUV. It had crossed the bridge on a curve and then rolled. Perhaps it was going too fast. Maybe it hit ice. Probably it hit the invisible black ice. Whatever, it made me thank my lucky stars for being so fortunate as to drive through this mountain ravine time after time without incident. This time of year in this deep mountain canyon shaded areas predominate. Ice lingers. Day after frozen day.
Over the Blues is not just a cute name. In winter it is serious business getting over this mountain range in Northeast Oregon to see each other. We drive as carefully as we can through all sorts of weather to be together as a couple. That is one of the prices to be paid with a Living Apart Together, or LAT, relationship. It is a price, however, that pays rich dividends when I consider my best friend is waiting at the other end of the drive. We want to spend many years together. We want to be careful. Someday the drive won't be necessary. It's a great adventure.