Lost in North Dakota

Ok, not anymore, but there was a moment or three hours… but first…

We got up early in Swift Current and got back on the road. We set our sights on Weyburn and the border crossing there – I’d googled it – a tip I’d learned travelling with Warren – and assured myself that this was a good, fast crossing.  

Before we got to Weyburn, we stopped in Moose Jaw for a bio-break. We saw Mac the Moose – a giant Moose statue – and looked through the tourist info. I felt edgy and kind of lost – missing Warren. After a 15 min. Break we hopped back into Ursula and headed off again. 

When we got to Weyburn, the border crossing was empty – we were the only people – excellent!  I pulled up, full of confidence – warren and I had done this before: sunglasses off, passports out, window down and a big smile. 

The border guard asked where we were headed, then asked me to shut off the truck. 

Oh. 

I turned the ignition off and he asked me to unlock the vehicle. I did and he proceeded to look through the whole truck – the back seats and trunk. Then asked what the purpose of the visit was. Finally I guess we had been scrutinized enough and he slammed the trunk shut and gave back our passports. ‘Welcome back to the United States’ he said. And we were allowed to go. 

Once we got away from the crossing, we high fived each other, my first successful crossing where I was the driver. 🙂  we stopped in a small town for gas – again my weeks of travel paid off: I picked a centex because I knew it took chip cards (many places in the states don’t) and i knew the bathrooms would be good. And then we set off again. 

We set the GPS for Bismarck,  North Dakota and went merrily on our way – it should take about an hour and a half from where we were. We stopped briefly again in Tioga ND, a small town which seemed to be there to serve the oil & gas industry, and this is where my emotional wheels came off. I was telling Roslyn about the work Warren did when it hit me: I was talking about him in the past tense.  The suddenness of the grief took my breath away. How could he be gone? I was tired and sad and hated North Dakota. I wanted to be home – but fuck, where is home now? Why did I think I could do this without him? Why did he have to die? 

Roslyn was my voice of reason ‘He taught you to be brave. He showed you how to travel. You got this’.  She was a rock through this storm – listened, reframed, coached. When it finally subsided I was exhausted.  We checked the GPS and it still said we had over 100 miles to go… Fuck. But that’s ok, we were still on WST (Warren Standard Time) which meant we would get there when we get there. We continued,  chatting, Crying a bit,  watching the scenery. 

After another hour, Roslyn checked the GPS again – this was taking forever.   ‘It’s 185 Miles to Bismarck!’  I frowned. That’s further than when we started. We stopped and we reviewed our map. Uh oh. It seems we had missed a turn and were now past Bismarck and well on our way to Jamestown. Dear lord. So we shrugged and climbed back into Ursula – forward, ever Forward.  

Finally at 8:30 pm we pulled into Jamestown and got a room at the Holiday Inn. We drove 11 hours today: That’s too much. 

I’m still struggling with my grief. It gets worse when I’m tired. Even worse when compounded with stress and hunger. Tonight I have crawled into bed, weary from a busy & emotional day.  Aside from the emotional and locational chaos though, I know that Warren would indeed be proud of his girl – as he has so many times before he would ask me:

“Where are we?” 

             North Dakota 

“How did we get here?” 

             We got in the fucking truck and drove here.

“and who knew we could do this?” 

             Everyone in the world but me… 

His big smile would fill his face with love,

“We’re making your world bigger my girl”

Tomorrow we go through Fargo and Brainerd (I didn’t know Brainerd was really a place!). I’ll take a picture of me at the Fargo sign just like Warren would want to do. 

I miss my Bear so. 

Stay tuned,

S&W

Published by

Sandra Kenyon

I've upended my life and moved all the way across the nation! Stay tuned for new adventures, but in the meantime I will be posting my flash fiction stories for your review :) I hope you enjoy what you read!

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