As I left what it was my home in Idaho, I didn’t pause to turn my view back. It felt like escaping from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah where if I look back I would be turning into a pack of salt. My gas was a quarter full so my plan was to stop in Mullan the last small town that I’m going to see and spend at least $20.00 on gas. At the gas station there was a mother of two kids with her perfect silver hair. I was so relieved but afraid about the outcome. I just expressed my happiness with this stranger which she was glad I did this first step in leaving this relationship which didn’t benefit me. She greeted me and congratulates me for that decision. So after that quick chat, fueled the gas and bought a small bag of honey roasted peanuts and there I went on my next stop.
As I approached Montana, I didn’t went pass Haugan where the 50,000 Silver Dollar Bar is located before. I used to visit there, just to eat and see their jewelry, clothing and other oddities. As soon as I pass it, I was having a great feeling, I wonder what’s next after Haugan. It was a very snowy day but at least the roads were very clean during this time of winter, so I was driving the speed limit which was 65, and the next stop was in St. Regis.
The only issue in St. Regis was just to find air to fill up the back driver side tire which I was having worries about it. Even thought I have two new tires on the front, still I have two old tires and hoping I wouldn’t end up stranded during the road. But still, I filled it enough to then coming back to the I-90 east.
During the driving to the first part of Montana, my phone reception is in zero coverage, which means I was in the dead zone. I remember there’s two dead zones, Montana and the 4th of July Pass on the west to go to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. The view in Montana was constantly snow covered mountains with a few houses or none, while the road was still clean and clear of all snow. During that travel, I stopped at a gas station to another gas station to fill up the gas, and take a nap in the afternoon, meanwhile the time zone didn’t bother me much. Still, I was imagining going on a quest to go from point a to point b. I was pretending to be a female viking walking through the cold snow, preparing, gathering supplies, armor, weapons for the battle. As I took a quick nap in a -10 degree weather in my car, I felt the sun warming my face and I took advantage of that. Sleep for at least an hour before going back into the road.
But still driving by myself has it’s downs. You either go to a motel/hotel to sleep for the night or either stop at rest stops and sleep. And since I only got less than $100.00 bucks in my pocket, my payday arrives on the next day so, I didn’t have no other choice than to keep on driving and stopping at rest stops when I felt sleepy and rest there. At least, I was out of the dead zone so I can get phone calls. Still, the view has changed to white snow and a few houses and once in a lifetime gas stations. It was so powerful, that I have to wear sunglasses. But as the night arrived, still I wasn’t out of Montana as my eyes got hurt from all the driving and stopping I did. It was like driving in a nowhere space, where you don’t know when it’s gonna stop. To kill the time during the road, I was putting Winamp, Spotify, to kill the time while trying to have a nice mood while checking on the radiator temp, gas and other stuff.
The first rest stop of the night, since my hands were stiff from grabbing the wheel, I tried to sleep on the car, but it was basically cold. Temperatures reached at -16 so I didn’t have a comforter or anything to cover myself. At least I got a leggings, jeans, and a t-shirt with my purple jacket and gloves. I slept for at least 45 minutes before heading to the next one meanwhile, I left the car off, because of gas and I wasn’t alone since there were three or four trucks parked. But waking up and going to the bathroom is a challenge specially when you have to pray not to pee before going. Then, after that rest, I didn’t have no other choice to drive for another 50 to 70 miles for the next rest stop.
And it wasn’t pleasant. At the second rest stop, I decided since there were two old tires getting my space in the back, I left them by the trash since it didn’t fit. I felt bad about it but I wanted to rest comfortably in the car. Thankfully in the middle of all this mess in the back, I found a comforter, and tried to sleep. But it was so cold that I have to get inside at the building to get heat for a few minutes while charging the phone for 15-20 minutes before getting out of there to the car. I was going in the back of the car, covering myself with the comforter, and clean clothes that I took from my bags to cover myself. In a few minutes of trying to get a rest, I couldn’t feel my toes. And it wasn’t pleasant. It was like a thousand needles going to my little pinky toes. It felt as is I’m starting to turn into a popsicle. And still, I was alone even thought there were four trucks parked, with some with their engines on and running. I didn’t cry, I didn’t blame myself for the circumstances that was put on. I didn’t blame god for it either. I was thinking more of the future that I was going to have as soon as I reach the goal. But I slept at least like an hour before deciding to drive forward to at least get out of Montana.
The silent beauty of Montana is haunting as well as never ending views of white snow, crushing sun, and by night dangerous roads and darkness surrounds my view. It felt like I was in limbo where I couldn’t find a way out. Every road and every stop seems the same. It was tiring, but I kept on driving and in the early morning around 9am or so I finally reach the end of the State. And I found relief when my GPS notified me that I reached a new state: “Welcome to North Dakota.” I screamed for joy, this long and tedious state of Montana is over and now for the easy part.