At least that’s what it seemed to be. But my blind faith was directly relative to my being able to see the back-end of the 18-wheeler ahead of me. My first winter drive, a few months back, across I-80 in Wyoming included what has been referred to as a “white out.” I had never seen anything like this in my life.
I don’t know if all of Wyoming is dry, I’m a newcomer. But, I do know that the stretch between mile post 315 (Laramie) and mile post 235 (Saratoga-Walcott) was windy with snow blowing across the road in a way that I have never seen. I spent seven years in Minnesota and grew up in Indiana, so I am familiar with the white stuff.
But. Not. This. White. Stuff.
Wow. It was like a dust storm of snow. There wasn’t even that much snow. Several inches, maybe. But it was so dry. And it came across the freeway in waves. Wind advisory signs that appeared for a moment warning of 40+ miles per hour gusts only added to my anxiety when they were hidden just as quickly. I would have pulled over, but there was nowhere to go by the time I realized that I was truly in trouble. Even when I saw an exit ramp, I couldn’t see down the ramp.
I felt safer behind the truck.
I didn’t sense panic until I watched the truck directly in front of me simply disappear. It went behind a curtain of snow. I have to admit at this point, that I was not just worried, I was afraid. The road was gone. I hoped that the road was straight. Then I hoped that I was still going straight right along with it. I didn’t know for sure.
I prayed that God would help me get to the other end of whatever this stretch of road was…out of the wind, out of the overcast, out of the white.
A few moments later the truck reappeared. We were driving at 40 miles per hour. I didn’t care if it took me a long time to get back to my home exit of 173. I had a lot of mile makers to pass before I got there. It didn’t even cross my mind to try to pass him to go faster.
I played follow-the-leader with this truck for awhile, then he (or she) took an exit that led to truck parking. There was another one a ways ahead and the road cleared so I hit the gas so that I would have another truck to keep in my sights when the snow began to blow again.
And blow it did.
Faith. The substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen. Never did this Biblical definition make sense to me like it does now. Serious faith.
I respect the truck drivers that must go through this section over and over. And I salute all of the folks who have lived here for years and accept this as part of their lot in life. To those who have dealt with the road “white outs” for years, I must sound like a wimp.
Sure, then, I am a wimp. It scared me to the point that I considered calling my wife to make sure I was able to tell her that I love her – just one more time before I met my Maker. I had the hope that the truck ahead of me knew where it was going.
I won’t even consider a trip this winter unless I know that it is will be clear for the going and the coming on I-80. I just don’t have the strength.
I tip my hat to Wyoming drivers.
And I thanked God that I arrived at my exit unscathed, physically, at least.
Wow. Don’t test nature, she is a tough competitor.