Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 102nd Installment

we told and retold the story, and ever since then, the little house has been known as the ‘haunted shack.’

Chapter 28
Last year on a cold wintry day we drove up to Taylor’s place, a 22,000 acre operation between Hamer and St. Anthony, an area almost entirely flat with short grass and brush. Deer wintered here which made it perfect for a close-to-home short hunt. We saw Taylor driving around his home place and stopped to talk. “Which way do we go if we want to hunt toward the sand dunes?” Max, a guy we knew, asked Taylor. Max, an old man to us at 17, had asked us to take him up to Taylor’s for the first time.

Well, as I remember, take this dirt road in and take the first left then the next two right splits in the road and you’ll be close.” Taylor said.

Remember?” I chided. “You grew up here and should know every inch of this ranch.”

Every inch? Don’t you mean every square mile?” There are thirty-five square miles to this place!” he seemed a teeny bit miffed. “See that 55 gallon drum in the back of this pickup?” We nodded. “I keep that full of gas so if by chance I get lost on my own place, I can drive, refuel and drive until I find my way out!” With that he revved his motor, waved and drove off.

We drove in, but not as far as we would have liked. The sky was looking more ominous and seemed to be a mile lower. Tiny white crystals formed in our hair. The cold was coming and the humidity was high. Two inches of snow covered the ground, and the grass and brush were white with frost. We let out Max; he was planning to walk to his right, knowing that we were told to turn to the right up ahead. When we came to the Y in the road, I got out and was going to walk out a quarter mile and wait for Max to show up. Russ was going to drive on about a half mile and wait there. At least that was the plan we made.

I hadn’t noticed, and the others probably didn’t either, but the cloud bank had thickened and lowered to the ground. I walked a while and about a half hour later I felt like I was in a bottle of milk. I could see my feet, a little bit of color against the pure white ground. As I raised my eyes, it was like I was white-blind causing me to quickly look at my hand and down my body again to check if something had happened to my vision. My nerves started to jangle with a little fear. I looked around peering level, turning in a circle, looking up and down and then putting my hand in front of my face to test my vision.
500 more words tomorrow

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