The pass was forecast to get hit hard with heavy snow and high winds. He was convinced that today was not the day to be leaving, but his father who was going to drive him up wanted to go and so he went along. He would regret it. He knew the storm would clear by 4 am, which meant that they wouldn’t hit it until after it was over if they left when he wanted to leave originally. It also would’ve given him more time to clean the house (which he didn’t end up doing) and less of a rushed feeling when he was running around and packing everything.
He really didn’t feel like being on the road any longer than he had to, especially with his cats, who (like all cats) didn’t exactly like being in their carriers inside of a car. He actually figured if they left when he wanted to, they would arrive at the same time because the pass would likely be closed until then anyway.
As they set out on the road, he had a bad feeling. It might have been because something or someone woke him up at 2 am and they didn’t plan to leave until 7. Or it might have been the storm.
They made their way along the roads in cold conditions. The roads were dry most of the way until they really started to climb in elevation. The temperature had not warmed up much in the daylight, and so he was concerned about the icy conditions. However, so far, they had not encountered anything he thought his dad couldn’t handle. He had a lot of faith in his dad’s driving. He had been a professional truck driver for decades, and knew what he was doing. Still, he questioned the decision to leave that day.
When they began the climb up the mountain, they encountered the snow. A lot of it pushed to the sides of the road, but more coming down. The hill made for reduced speeds anyway, and so the driving was relatively smooth.
As they climbed higher, the snow came down heavier and heavier. He began to fear that they would close the pass. The wind was blowing and he was also concerned about possible falling trees.
As they began to near the summit, that’s when he saw it. Sun. The snow was coming down from a distant cloud, but it was wet and melted as soon as it made contact with the roadway. The winds died down and they made it over the pass at normal speed. As they made their way down the mountain into the flatlands, the snow turned to rain and then stopped altogether. They drove onto their destination, making good enough time that they arrived as they would have.
As soon as they got off of the hill, the storm hit hard behind them. Winds blew down trees, though thankfully nobody was hurt, and the snow dumped down so heavily that the plows couldn’t keep up and traffic over the hill was suspended. No accidents were reported thanks to the quick work of the Department of Transportation. The pass reopened the following day.
Had they left when he wanted to, they would’ve hit the perfect winter storm for the area. The storm they were predicted to hit as forecast. But his dad chose to leave right when they should’ve run into it. And because of that, they missed it entirely. Just barely.
His dad was right, and he was wrong. And he couldn’t have been happier for that.
He knew his dad was a good driver, but how he could’ve known the forecast would be so off was simply beyond his mind’s ability to comprehend.
When they arrived, he unpacked his things and got ready for bed, having been up since 2 in the morning. His dad made his bed up on the couch, to stay for a few days before flying back home. As his dad was unpacking, he saw him remove a strange branch from his travel bag.
“What is that?” he asked his father.
“It is a good luck charm. Some weird trucker I worked with who retired gave it to me and said I would have clear roads as long as I kept it with me,” his dad replied.
“Wow, guess it worked today,” he told his father.
“I don’t really believe in that superstitious stuff,” his dad answered.
“Then why do you keep it?” he asked.
“I don’t know, just seems like you shouldn’t turn down a gift.”
It was about 2 am when he had to go to the bathroom. He woke up and made his way down the hall to the use the toilet. As he did, something caught his eye. There was a strange glow, coming from the small branch his dad took out of his bag.