Three inches of snow atop an inch of freezing rain made the roads miserable yesterday. Before bed last night, I looked out at the highway, about a quarter mile away across the prairie. A carnival-zone lit-up semi-truck limped east along the skating rink we call North Dakota Highway 52, a west-east blue highway that joins US 2 to carried commerce from Montana across the whole northern tier of the Bakken to Grand Forks and thence beyond the border into Bemidji, Minnesota and on down to Minneapolis and Chicago.
This route is our primary exit from the land of oil pumpers, fraking-water and oil tankers, of dry land oats, wheat, and golden canola. It is much easier to travel Amtrak than the highway. Diesel locomotives don’t much mind ice although they hate snow when it falls three feet deep on the sidings.
And I, the one who is always making sure there is a doorway behind me into which I can back in case I deeply offend one more local resident of this bastion of conservatism, finds herself wishing away the week before I leave for points far south, before I fly to Australia.