Thursday, February 20, 2014

Whiteout


I'm convinced I have a Guardian Angel.  I don't know where the Church stands on the existence of Guardian Angels, but with all the people that crowd this earth -- sending so many petitions to God -- I figure He must delegate.  Over the years I feel my Angel has guided me safely through many a situation that could have come out more than a little messy.

This white tail deer must also have a Guardian Angel in that it was more interested in a "lady friend" than me and bow and arrow deer hunting season was open.  Fortunately for him he had only come across a wandering plein air painter.

I encountered such an occasion during our fall road trip -- the day I drove from Plains, Montana to Sand Point, Idaho.  Idyllic plein air painting weather gave way to clouds and occasional drizzle throughout the day so, after one painting, I mostly explored and snapped a few photos.  As the day was about to be retired into the annals of history,  I could see the first rays of sun slice across distant mountainsides.  Ahead I could see a curve sparkling in that golden glow.

Let me digress.  Over just shy of 100,000 miles on the odometer, our 2001 Mazda Tribute's windshield has been struck by too many rocks and pitted by driving through blasts of windblown sand.  Then, heading south in British Columbia earlier in this odyssey, an 18-wheeler passed, liquid pouring from the rear of it's trailer and shloshing across our windshield,  I theorized his strange cargo consisted of melting ice although that seemed a bit odd in this age of the refrigerator.   Not so!  When I flicked on our wipers, the window just streaked with a bluish haze.  I added a squirt of windshield washer fluid.  It streaked.  Eventually I tried detergent.  It streaked although the window looked clear when dry.

Now, almost a month later, I braked before approaching that curve where a sun shower added itself to the mix.  As I hit the corner, the setting sun sat directly over the hood of our car.  I had a windshield covered with microscopic pits as well as larger rock strikes all reflecting the orb like a nest of prisms.  I had prisms from the raindrops. 
I reflexively turned on the wipers to add the blue haze of the streaked windshield.

The result -- all I could see was a sheet of white directly in front of the car.  I could barely make out the hood and nothing beyond.  Meanwhile the road was curving sharply to the left and another driver tailgated me by half a car length -- maybe less.  Another car whizzed past in the opposite direction splashing more water in my face.  I never saw it until it was directly alongside of me.

Have you ever tried to steer a car around a bend looking at the center line through the side window.  That's what my Guardian Angel did.  Had a police car seen "us" weaving around that corner, "we" would have been pulled over as suspected drunk drivers

And then we were back in shadow, shaken and uttering prayers of thanks.  The car on my tail flew past and it was on to Sand Point.  That was the last I saw of the sun that day.  I didn't complain.


                                 I failed to see even a single ray of sun that day -- until that sun-bathed corner.

Meanwhile Karen was still at Northern Wisconsin's Four Mile Lake where she and her cousin, Connie Mutel, were reliving favorite memories.

One favorite for both of them is Vanishing Lake, actually more of a pond that is slowly diminishing in size as the surrounding bog crowds ever closer.  Brush and even trees along the edges grow on a floating mat.

Karen and Connie have hiked around Vanishing Lake so many times that I think they've worn their personal grove in the trail


                                      Well aged planks over a wetland portion of the Vanishing Lake Trail.


Of course Karen's brother, Peter Groth, had to take the girls for boat rides on Four Mile Lake as well as adjoining lakes in the Chain of Lakes.

2 comments:

Cindi said...

That sounds like quite an adventure! Glad you made it through safely.

Diane Eatherton-Watt said...

So glad your angel was with you...I would truly miss the tales you spin and the images you share!
Thank you,
Diane