When I was a student at BYU, I did not have a car. Home was 10.5 hours north on I-15, and plane tickets between Salt Lake and Great Falls were quite expensive. So after fall semester and after winter semester, my dad would drive 10.5 hours south, load up my things, and drive me home. Then, when it was time to return to BYU, dad and I would hop back in his Jeep Cherokee truck (yes, Jeep made trucks), he would drop me off at my dorm and then he’d drive himself back to Montana.
The sacrifice of that many hours in a car was never lost on me. That’s 42 hours of driving–21 of it with me. That’s a lot of time with me, and I’m not always the easiest person to spend that much time with. We listened to The Eagles and The Everly Brothers and though I don’t remember for sure, I bet he let me sneak in a little Depeche Mode or The Smiths. We always stopped in Pocatello for Blizzards at the Dairy Queen, and he always drove the entire distance. The trips after fall semester were always the diciest; driving through several canyons and across the Continental Divide amidst snowstorms usually slowed us down a bit.
This weekend was our church’s stake conference in Council Bluffs, and it was also the first major winter storm of the season. I was certain I’d wake up this morning to an email canceling the conference, but that did not happen. Dad and I already had planned to carpool to the conference, but now it was imperative–his giant truck with 4-wheel drive was the only possible way I could make it.
Just like old times, me and dad, driving through conditions like these:
Part of me wishes I grew up with selfies and Instagram and Twitter–I know there’s plenty out there that vilifies social media. But I like to think that I’d have been more conscientious is documenting those trips with dad; photos of the Dairy Queen, photos looking down on Butte, maybe even a photo of Malad, where the elevation is 4550 feet above sea level.
But today’s photos of the Iowa plains at 1,090 feet about sea level, will have to do.
Thanks for the ride to church, dad. Your truck is a lot nicer now, and the music of The Lower Lights was an upgrade too. The two-hour round trip to church brought back a lot of memories.