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Zoom Zoom All the Way to Fargo

on 21 March, 2015

So, flipping through online news a few days ago, and I see a story about this powerful storms on the sun resulting in vivid aurora borealis sightings. But not everywhere. In fact, hardly anywhere. Big and wonderful shows in western Europe, specifically in the U.K. and Iceland, but they do mention that there are some less vivid, but still surprising sightings in Alaska and Canada and across the northern United States. Particularly Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. It was about 2:00pm. I looked up at The Kid and asked if he wanted to try to see them.

Two hours or so later, we were driving north on I-29 in the “8”. I remember being his age – almost twenty – and feeling like I could go anywhere and do anything. Like life was just starting. I used to love taking off on those kinds of road trips. That Kid, he is so much like me.

Unfortunately, as we made our way further and further north, the weather started to get cloudier and colder. We were heading toward Fargo – we figured it was still in the range and it would be less likely to have light pollution from any nearby towns. We were hoping that time would clear up the weather, but an hour from destination, it actually started to snow. We actually made it all the way to Fargo, but it was obvious we would not be seeing the northern lights that night. It was almost 2:00am.

I had thought that it would have been best to find someone to lay down and sleep a bit. I even thought it might be fun to wander around Fargo a bit the next day. You know, find Babe the Blue Ox and Paul Bunyan statues that were shown in the film. But The Kid had other ideas. He wanted to head straight back. I think he saw it as a personal challenge.

I trusted him to tell me if he got too tired. I had to take more medication as my head was throbbing – the usual scenario plus the change in medication and the fact that I had been up over 20 hours. The next thing I knew, we were pulling into a gas station about 60 miles from home. The Kid needed caffeine and the car needed gas. We hit a fast foot restaurant and to allow him to eat his ‘french toast sticks’ I took over driving. When he was done eating, he passed out, he was dead to the world. I think up to that point he was running on pure adrenaline.

Bette Davis once said “Old age is not for sissies.” and boy was she right. I’m still recovering from that little jaunt. And trust me, I used to do those little stunts like most people hang out at the mall. It was just too bad that we didn’t get to see the northern lights.



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