The morning after the race, we share breakfast, dig through the house's free-bin (I get a plaid shirt and neoprene gloves) and then take a walk into the town.

Passing by the Northland Campus on the way.

Since it's cold, we gravitate to a coffee shop (The Black Cat, I think…) and for cocoa, tea, and discussion. Our host Emily is an apprentice potter in the area and Kaybe, an older acquaintance from EWB, has appeared.

Sufficiently warmed, we drive out onto the lake where the town constructs a race track every winter. I'm driving with Kaybe and we're cruising along at the slow speed inherent to people nervous about being on top of ice with a heavy car. Ahead of us, the rest of the crew is in a minivan, going faster.

They round a corner and the van goes into a slideways skid, sliding up and on top of an ice berm. Kaybe brakes our car a little distance away and we watch as they try to get the van moving. She opens her door to go help and the wind, which we knew was strong, turns out to be really strong and snaps the door forward with so much force that the hinges snap a bit and the door is broken. We shove it closed as best we can and go to inspect the situation.

Alida & Noah

Kaybe & Brel

One of the wheels has actually drilled through the ice from being spun too much. After trying everything we can think of to get the van unstuck, we begin calling tow companies. Many of them simply say that it's too dangerous to bring their big, heavy trucks out there. But, for the right price, one of them eventually agrees. We all sit inside our cars and watch the wind whip ice and snow across the lake. The truck arrives, attaches a hitch, and, mere seconds later, the van is free. After this excitement, we head home for more cocoa.

And then go out for delicious pizza. After we're all pleasantly fed it's time to get going. We share good-byes, certain amounts of eye-locking, and travel wishes and then pull out. I elect to ride with Kaybe and, soon, we've drawn apart from Noah & Co. The journey back is through what are often white-out conditions with blowing and falling snow obscuring the road. Kaybe and I haven't had a chance to talk for a long time and she tells me about leaving her mathematics program at the U, enrolling in NOLS, and living out of a tent in the Rockies for a semester. It a laudable act of self-determinism and one that envy, though I seem to be too happy with my current situation to go through with it.

As we get to Minneapolis, Kaybe goes to drop me off at my house in Prospect Park. And the snow is DEEP! We end up shifting her car down into first while I push. It'll move forward a few feet, we'll shovel out a path, and then repeat the process. It takes a long time, but Noah and Brel come to help and we eventually we get her back on the road. What an adventure! I'm looking forward to doing it again sometime!

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