23 December 2003 . . . I unloaded in Denver yesterday morning. All I had to do then was drive 460 miles—empty. That was the adventurous part of the trip. The WX said it was CAVU and DRY. Good for an empty truck. I busted out of the cloud cover in about three seconds and looked forward to an easy run home up through eastern Wyoming. 

Made it up to Carr (northern CO, on I-25) and the road started looking icy. The wind was 25 knots from the west. Hmmm . . . ice and a side wind—ideal for an empty flatrack. "Dry with ceiling and visibility unlimited," the Denver weather guy had said . . . Oh well, here we go again.

The optimist in me said it will clear up 25 miles north of Cheyenne. The pessimist said you'd best get ready for an interesting ride. The pessimist won but we made good time, considering.

When I got to Four Corners (which really is only three corners) at US-85
and Wyo. 585 north of Newcastle, I planned to shoot the gap to Deadwood and drop down the other side of the 7,000-foot hill into Sturgis. But a big black cloud 500 feet above the road and three miles north of me said, "Come on, Buzz, let's see how lucky you feel."

So, I turned left and went to Sundance and busted out on I-90. It added 41 miles to my trip, so I determined to make the interstate by dark, which was 25 minutes max for the 28 miles. 

They had laid brown stuff on the road almost all the way, but you know how the edges melt onto the road and the freeze into the shadows. When I got to I-90 it was so dry that it seemed there was nothing but dry prevailing on the ground anywhere in Wyoming. 

It was boring after that, but I was as wired as I'd been in a while.
Who needs drugs? Just another day in The Green Hornet.
Got home and hour later and sat in my easy chair, not believing
I'd been out only two weeks. 

Only once have I felt an adrenaline rush where blood turns
to ice and nerves come alive as individuals marveling at
the thrill of being alive. Didn't feel it yesterday—but it did take
four hours to fall asleep last night. 

I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas. I'm going to the first
with a family member in 10 years, and only the second since 1975. 

*     *     *
Cal Tobin, Jr.
SSgt. USMC
1972–1992

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