Friday, May 21, 2004

Paying the Piper

You may have been wondering just where the heck I have been all week...I mean, even in San Francisco I managed to post almost daily while still attending my conference and having a grand time.

Truth be told, this week I paid the price for my San Francisco adventure. Oh sure, last weekend I recovered from 8 days away, even getting to go to the Missoula Farmer's Market Saturday morning (one of the true joys Missoula has to offer). But I was slammed with work all week, which included 2 1/2 days in Helena at the annual Montana Medical Group Management Association's legislative and business meeting. I arrive back to a wet and rainy Missoula this afternoon.

My meetings in Helena were actually very informative, educational and "fun". I learned some very incredible things about Medicare legislation (no yawning allowed) that simply astounded me and I also picked up more than a few jewels to use in my job. Last night we had a nice meal and entertainment provided by magician Bruce was a wonderful performance.

Anyhow, I'm back at the office opening mail and trying to get some semblance of organization back on my desk. I'll have to work tomorrow just to catch up but you can expect some posts as well.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention I saw a terrible accident Wednesday night on a lonely stretch of I-90 between Drummond and Gold Creek, Montana and was nearly involved in one myself today on Highway 12 going over a fog shrouded MacDonald Pass west of Helena. The one on Wednesday night was plain eerie: It was about 11:00 PM and I was heading back to Helena again (I drove the 120 miles over in the morning, attended meetings, drove 120 miles back to Missoula to set up the Ultimate fields and play and then was driving back) when I came over a rise and there were flashing red lights 100 yards or so ahead. It was eerie because it was so pitch black...there is nothing out there so there is no light pollution either... and I was very tired. I remember thinking I was in some David Lynch film as I slowed way down everything seemed to go into slow motion. I came up to the wreck...there was a state trooper car on one side, then the semi-truck sort of at an odd angle and then the car, flipped over but balanced in a freakish manner..then another trooper car and an rural ambulance. The ambulance driver was visible from the waist down as he was inside the car attending to a trapped person. There were flares and a few troopers, but I was the only car heading east; it was a little unnerving and totally surreal. Today I almost ran into the back of a semi-truck hauling big round rolls of hay. We were heading up the mountain and the fog was super thick. The speed limit on this part of the highway varies from 45 to 70 mph and I was probably doing 60. The semi was in the right lane (as was I) where it should have been and was probably going 25, laboring heavily to get up the mountain. I saw the trucks' blinkers at the last second, braking frantically and then swerving into the left lane without looking in my rear view mirror. Let's just say my deodorant failed completely at that moment and I was really lucky I didn't hit him.
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