After falling on the ice on Thursday, we determined both baby and mama were safe and we were good to go to Wyoming. I had a lot to do to prep for the trip and had to take periodic breaks, so I didn't get to bed until almost 11. Which for me, is very late. I was up a few times in the night to pee - as per usual - so didn't sleep the greatest, but it was still a good sleep. I woke up at 4:28, heard the vacuum turn on at 4:29, and then hubs came to bed about 4:33. It had something to do with a broken aftershave bottle lid, and resulted in hubs smelling "pretty" when he finally came to bed. He had been at work until 2:30, then packed, folded clothes, and watched the Olympics up until the aftershave incident. My alarm was set for 5:00, so I ended up just getting out of bed about 4:45. I showered, finished packing, had breakfast, and let Brent sleep until 6:00. We were out the door and on the interstate by 6:20 - a miracle in itself.
I was driving, since Brent only had about an hour of sleep. He passed out right away and was sleeping pretty hard. The roads were clear, as far as I could tell, and we were cruising along at 75 mph. Because I am scared to death to speed, and cruise control was invented to make it easier to abide by the law. We were about 60 miles from home, and I had been following this truck/trailer for 5 miles. I had toyed with the idea of "nudging" the cruise control so I could pass them sooner, but knew I was bound to pass them at some point, so kept it where it was. I was closer to them than I had been the entire time following, so I moved to the passing lane. I wasn't all that close to them, but to put me at ease with regard to following distance, I had moved to the other lane. This would turn out to be another miracle.
I saw them start to fishtail and think I said, "whoa...", then I saw them careen, very awkwardly, to the shoulder. I said, "Oh no..." and it was about that time I saw the brake lights, the jack-knife, the front of their truck facing my car, and then they went in to the median and flipped. Over. Twice. I said, "Oh no!" again. The entire time span of this was about 4.5 seconds. I had braked firmly, but not aggressively, for fear they had hit black ice, and I certainly did not want to experience the same fate. By this time, Brent had heard some urgency in my "Oh no"s, and was awake, seating himself upright trying to figure out what had just happened. I pulled over and told him, "I just saw a roll over, get your phone." I put the car in park, and started to run ("run" = waddle urgently as a penguin on a mission) across the interstate to the median, where the truck was sitting upright, and crunched. There was a layer of frost on the road, and as I was running I remember thinking, "This probably isn't the smartest thing I could have done" considering my fate the day before. I saw them - three guys - emerge from the pickup. Two other vehicles had pulled over behind me and two gentlemen from vehicle #3, had sprinted across and reached the truck before I did.
I heard, "That was one hell of a rollover!"
Said one of the victims, "No $#!%."
I asked, out of breath and full of adrenaline, "Is everyone alright??!!"
"Yeah....Yeah, we're okay."
"Do you have a phone? Do you need anything? Water? First aid?" I panted.
One man was standing, with his hand on his neck. The third was still getting out of the truck and said, "I told you to slow down...." The first man, in green (ugly green) sweats said, "Yeah, we're fine, I've got a phone." I know this man had to be married and I hope he called his wife right away. Only married men think it's okay to go out in ugly green sweat pants.
I didn't dare say they had about given a pregnant lady a heart attack - because I imagine they had all come a lot closer to having a coronary themselves. The neck-holder raised an arm and waved down a suburban towing snowmobiles. Apparently they were traveling together. Once I was convinced they were alright and there was nothing more to do, I started to walk back to the car. I started walking backwards so I could see the cars that were headed towards us, and if they slid, I was planning on how I would do a movie-stunt jump-and-roll out of the way from being hit. Thankfully they didn't slide, because I can't jump or roll. Once they passed I was able to cross the interstate back to the car, as Brent was getting out and headed my way. He had just ended his 911 call. We both got back in the car and he asked me what had happened. I tried to describe it. I was shaking. I thought for sure we were going to hit that truck. I thought for sure there would be blood and jaws of life would be necessary to pry those people from the truck. I could not believe three men got out of the truck and were fine. My blood sugar had crashed from the adrenaline rush, and I asked Brent to fish me out some fruit snacks from the backseat.
Once my nerves settled, we started driving again, but I was afraid to go much faster than 55. About five miles down the road, I got my courage back, and could see the roads were fine past that point, and increased back to the legal 75. It may have been 76 for part of the way. Brent managed to get back to sleep, and I was trying to focus on the drive ahead, not on what I had just seen.
I drove us all the way to Glendive, MT, where we stopped for lunch at Subway. That was stop #5 for us, by the way. Remember, I'm pregnant and have to pee a lot. After lunch, I was ready for it to be my turn to nap. Brent had agreed to drive, and I told him to turn left out of the parking lot. He turned right. I yelled. He saw the Business Route I94 sign and "knew" we'd be on the interstate in no time. I yelled. I told him to turn around. He asked if I was serious. I let him know I was in fact very serious. He kept driving. I was ready to punch him in the face. We f-i-n-a-l-l-y made our way to the interstate, after a very unnecessary tour of Glendive, and I laid the seat back to sleep off my irate mood. At some point I woke up and told Brent we needed to stop at a rest stop ASAP. We had just passed one about five seconds before I woke up. Wouldn't you know it. I was able to hold it to Forsyth - a small hole in the wall, that happens to have a very nice gas station where I was able to pee, and buy Red Vines. Holla!
I stayed awake the rest of the way, lucky for you, so I could take gripping photographs with my cell phone. First I was mesmerized by the lack of snow on the ground - the part about Wyoming/Montana winters that I miss so very much. It was a welcomed sight, brown dead ground! I'm so tired of the feet of snow outside at home.
We passed the cow farm - that has the worst smelling cows in the nation. You can smell them for miles before and after you pass. And it's directly alongside the interstate. I had to cover my nose with my pillow.
Brent was listening to some radio thing on his Blackberry and singing along - it was entertaining. Except when I caught him "disliking" a song while he was driving. Um, not cool, Brent. Eyes on the road. And I know you speed with cruise control.
We stopped one more time to get fuel and - yes, I had to go again. We stopped seven times along the way, and we still made it in 10 1/2 hours. Definitely a trip to be proud of. And thank you, Jesus, those guys in the truck were okay. And that I didn't slip and fall on the interstate.
Part II to follow...