We Almost Died Driving Across the Country – OHS034

Let me start by saying we did almost die a couple of times on that drive across the state of Kansas. To this day I cannot believe we did not at least fly off the road, slide in a ditch, or hit another car. Overall I do not remember the majority of the drive from Idaho to Indiana. But I do vividly recall our drive in a freakishly intense ice storm that came out of nowhere once we entered Kansas. At first the weather seemed to be only slightly changing. Then the next thing we know is the road is a blanket of ice in a whiteout snowstorm. It was there and then my childhood friend and myself almost died.

It seems like a pretty standard scenario in life to change location and jobs and move across the country. That is exactly what my boyhood friend wanted to do. His name is Mitch. We all grew up in the same west side area of South Bend, Indiana. One day when we were young children he started coming over to our house to play. He became best friends with my younger brother. As years passed we ended up going to middle school, high school, and college together. As those years passed by we just started to put a plate out for him during dinner. Mitch was now part of the family. It is rare in life to have a friend that grew up “down the street,” then go through the educational system together, and who you know later in life as that same good friend. Mitch is one of those friends to me and my family. I have known him most of my life and still know him today.

After graduating from the University of Washington and seven years in Seattle, Washington I moved to Boise, Idaho. I had only been living there for over a year when I broke my collar bone snowboarding. It was my right collar bone and the arm that has my only hand. This was very difficult for me as the collar bone distributes most of the weight used by the arm along with many other duties. What I am trying to say is I could not do a lot with my hand or arm for about 6 weeks. A very difficult time to say the least. I spent my entire life with one hand and now, for a short time, it seemed as if I did not have any hands. Did I say it was a difficult time? I lost my job as the manager of the cigar shop I was employed at the time do to my broken collar bone situation. So here I was freshly healed from my accident, still unemployed, not having a lot of money to my name and not sure what I was going to do in the short and long terms of my life. That is when Mitch called.

Mitch said he was done living in Portland, Oregon and wanted to move back to the place where we all attended college, Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. He asked if I would help him drive across the country. He said he was almost packed up and soon will be ready to go. With his entire empire packed into a U-Haul truck and pulling his car he soon would arrive in Boise. He said he would pick me up and we would “road trip” back to Indiana. I guess his timing could not of been better. I was unemployed, not looking for a job at the moment, had very little money, and not sure what direction I was about to take in life. Seemed like the perfect time to take a road trip. I said yes even though I really had no idea what I was getting myself into at the time. I had no idea we would come so close to dying so many times in the state of Kansas.

Show Notes:

  • What to do with some free transitional time in my late twenties?
  • Help a friend drive himself and all his stuff across the country to start a new life.
  • Encountering a freakishly intense and crazy ice storm in the state of Kansas.
  • Almost dying at least three times.


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