I nearly forgot about the story I was going to tell before I landed on yesterday's post! On Saturday I did something I've never done before and never expected that I would. (All these virginal experiences, I tell ya... ) And if anyone tells my Mom, you'll have me to deal with!
There I was Saturday morning, in between blizzards. The power was out and had been since about 1 a.m. I had shoveled, shoveled some more, and shoveled (but hey, at that point I only had two feet of snow, not 3.5 feet). Any dudes out there with a penchant for chicks with biceps... I got 'em, Baby!
I wanted to see if I could at least make it out of the driveway. If so, my plan was to head into town (I'm 11 miles up river and up mountain from the pretty little hamlet of Granite Falls) so as to replenish supplies before the next expected storm. I was met with success and had no trouble getting out of the driveway at all. "Nino!" I hollered. "C'mon pal, we're goin' for a drive." Nino was more than glad to oblige. I eased out onto the snow-covered (but plowed and sanded) Mountain Loop Hwy - slow n' steady, careful to keep the rubber side down. These days nobody wants to stay away from ditches more'n I do. Still, the road was in pretty good shape for a mountain road. It's kept well maintained because it runs through national forest and they need it clear in case rescue vehicles have to get through. I had no trouble at all. As we'd pass folks digging out their driveways we were always met with a wave. It was as if they were saying, "Yay! Someone made it out alive... there's hope... keep digging... there's hope..."
My co-pilot pup and I were about 4 miles into the journey, just coming up one of the shorter, but curvier hills. There was a guy, bundled from head to toe, trudging through the snow at the side of the road. As I approached and began to pass he stuck his thumb out. "I can't, buddy..." I thought at first, and then, "Hell, I've got a pit bull! What's he gonna try to pull?" Still, I wasn't about to stop mid-hill, so I got to the top and waited. The guy walked with the careful precision of one who has slid and met with gravity all too often in that kind of weather. I can relate.
Nino growled as he approached. "S'okay Beandawg... get in the back seat..." Nino complied as the guy opened the passenger door. Turned out to be a kid of maybe 25 years old at most (*sigh*... yeah, I'm at the age now where 25 is a "kid"). I was immediately glad that I stopped. So was he, "Oh man... thank you so much!" Nino gave a perfunctory sniff, decided there'd be little threat from a guy who was so bundled up that he couldn't even put his arms down, and settled back in his seat. I never learned the young man's name, nor he mine. We chit-chatted the 9 miles into town... there was plenty of weather to talk about. We parted ways in the grocery store parking lot with a "Hey, stay warm and have a Merry Christmas!" And that was that, but for the warm fuzzy (goodkarmagoodkarmagoodkarma) feeling I had the rest of the day.
Will I ever pick up a hitcher again? Unlikely. Never been my style. It just sorta happened. I'm glad it did.
Mountain people are good folk. Guess I'm kind of one of 'em now...