Over the weekend, the roads were closed.  But all was well because I had my chocolate ice cream, my salad greens, and my husband.

On Monday, Duck Lake Road reopened but the snows returned and the winds picked back up.  Honeydew and I figured that the road would close again by mid-afternoon, so he got going.  He called me from Browning, 40 miles south, to tell me not to try to attempt to leave  unless absolutely necessary, as he’d found West Shore Road, the dirt road we live on that connects to Duck Lake Road, plugged with snow.  He’d taken his pickup through our neighbor’s pasture and over some barbed wire, and had made it out, but had doubts that I could do the same.  His attitude towards my snow driving skills would have annoyed me last winter.

Not this year.  The amount of snow and wind and bitter, bone chilling cold we have received have all contributed to my attitude change.  I did not grow up driving in the fluffy stuff.  I am not an expert, nor does it seem that I am naturally inclined to successful navigation of snow covered roads.

Tuesday, more of the same.  Duck Lake Road open, but West Shore Road plugged, no access.  Brother Dear had an appointment with a client in Cut Bank, so he took the through-the-pasture-and-over-the-barbed-wire route and made it through.

Wednesday, still no plow.  No chocolate ice cream, either.  But the sun came out and the snow settled and Brother Dear told me he thought I could make it out of the pasture.  He assured me that if I got stuck, he’d come to my rescue, and stuck his fully charged cell phone in his pocket to reassure me.  I took a deep breath and turned the key in the ignition.  And with a little gunning it, I too escaped the pasture.

Armed with a newfound confidence, I drove one handed on my way back from the post office, snapping pictures along the way.

To the left, you can see the tracks leading to the pasture.  Straight ahead is where West Shore Road should be.

Here’s the entrance to the pasture, and the barbed wire.  I’ve never purposefully driven over barbed wire before!

It is so hard to take good pictures in flat light and snow, but here’s the “route” through the pasture – I had just come off the steep part, which I used both hands to navigate.

Here’s the exit from the pasture, through our neighbors’ driveway.

And here’s a look back at West Shore Road – the tracks to the left lead off to the South Shore of Duck Lake, straight ahead is again where the road should be.

Arriving home, I called Pseudo Sista and told her that I thought our previously laid plans for dinner would still work, that the pasture-route wasn’t as bad as I had feared, that she should come on from Browning after work.

And so she did.  And she made us yummy pizza and we ate the last of the salad greens and  fell into the easy conversation that years of friendship bring to a table.

Overnight, the winds picked up a bit and more snow fell.  But the winds “only” blew about 30MPH, and I suppose I’ve become desensitized to them, after our weekend of 114MPH gusts.  At 6:30am, I checked the road report: Duck Lake Road, open.  So I figured that West Shore Road was still fine, that the tracks would have blown over but would still be solid.  A plan was formed: I have a Tahoe with good clearance.  Pseudo Sista has a Subaru, a fine car, but lacking in clearance.  I would lead the way from the Warehome to Duck Lake Road, and she would follow in my tracks, be at work by 7:30am, and all would be well with the world.

We left in the breaking daylight at 6:45a.m.  At 6:50a.m., Pseudo Sista was walking down West Shore Road to the cabin, to rouse Brother Dear from his slumber and request a tow.  And I was sitting in my Tahoe, stuck sideways in a drift.

I think cabin fever is officially settling in.  Send chocolate ice cream, greens, and backhoes.

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