Friday, December 15, 2006

Fog and Clarity

At 9:10 p.m. last night, they booted me out of a department store. As I left, I mused about making the exact gifts I want to give, instead of searching for them, but then I remembered the unfinished gift from last year. If I really worked at it, could I finish it before her birthday rolls around a second time?

Speaking of second times, last night was the second time in a week that I drove home from Regina in fog. The first time was the kids' shopping day, and yesterday was mine.

Last week, the fog was fairly continuous until around Francis, where it broke up into great skeins illuminated by the headlights and the rising moon. In some places it was still a continuous sheet, but elevated a little, and when a slight rise tilted the headlights up, that layer of fog looked like a giant tent.

Last night, the entire 200 kilometres was fogged in without a single break. The towns passed as faint glows in the periphery; often I didn't even glimpse their names on the signs. At one town - was it Osage? - I had a momentary vision of a deer, standing right in the bottom of the ditch next to the pavement, with its ears pricked towards my passing car. It reminded me of the sight from that morning, just outside Creelman, of a moose loping across the highway right in front of the car ahead of me, and then turning just beyond the ditch to jog along parallel to the highway, beard flapping, legs lifted high. With thoughts of deer and moose, and frequent false alarms from frost-crusted roadside weeds emerging out of the fog, I cruised at 80 to 85 kph (where the posted limit is 100). Several vehicles stayed behind me; I recall only three that dared to pass.

One good thing about that fog: I had Country 100 FM coming in clear to Forget. (That's FOR-zhay, around here, although when the highway sign flashed out of the fog, my mind noted the coincidence with the song I was hearing at that moment, about forgetting - something, but I forget what.) Usually I lose the Country 100 signal somewhere around Francis - one-third of the way, instead of over three-quarters. I actually got enough of that station yesterday to start to notice the repetition. For me, that benediction from Rascall Flats ("My Wish") is not holding up to frequent airplay the way Lee-Ann Womack's did a few years back ("I Hope You Dance").

But that new one from Martina McBride - "Anyway" - they can play that again. Wow. Any volunteers to sing it in church?


Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

We see more of that here, people passing at high rates of speed, in dense fog, even in the turns of these winding mountain roads.

It reminds me of the Dylan song, 'Ninety Miles An Hour Down A Dead End Street'.

I'm going to look for 'Anyway' on iTunes, I haven't heard it.

And, by the way. Yes, I did post a rant at EHG yesterday that I deleted. It needed more work.
But it's back up now.

arcolaura said...

We don't get fog all that often here, so maybe people are a bit more cautious than they would be if they got used to it. But some of those cars that did pass were going pretty fast. I felt that I was pushing the bounds of safety even at 85kph, but going slower is hazardous too, with faster vehicles coming up behind.

Madcap said...

Lots of fog, freezing rain and mist, here too. And we saw a moose at the side of the road yesterday. It's been a while. Just a half hour northeast of here we used to see them all the time, playing on the highway.

arcolaura said...

The moose around here used to stay in the hills (those Moose Mountains), but lately they have been turning up in all sorts of unlikely open prairie places.

When I worked in Algonquin Park, Ontario, for a summer, there were frequent accidents with moose on the highway through the park. One night Ken Cornelisse and I went out moose cruising, since you are a lot more likely to see them at night. Ken showed me how binoculars significantly enhance your night vision. I don't remember seeing many (any?) moose, but I recall Ken telling me to get back in the car quick, because he thought a moose was coming at us.