the Blizzard

My job had me in South Dakota I believe it was 1988.We were working on a project and the job had run a little late in the year. We were working ungodly hours trying to finish before winter weather shut us down.Our job site was about 20 miles out of town and it was a fairly easy commute compared to some.We had seen a few small snows but they hadn't been too much of a problem.One Friday morning (I do remember it was a Friday) I was riding with one of my crew and he said not a good day boss going to have a big snow.How do you know?The weather man didn't mention it on the news last night.I'm a Sioux boss my people come from here I know. We got to the site and set up for the morning.It was still dark out so it was hard to see anything brewing in the sky.I was in talking with the manager and telling him how I had set up the crew when our Sioux friend came in.Wind's picking up going to be bad in hour he said.Our manager said what's he talking about.He told me it's going to snow today,big snow.Oh hell get going we can't pay any attention to that.I left the office and headed for one of our temporary warehouses.These are essentially tents built like quonset huts with fabric over the frame. I was in there about 20 minutes and started for another building.When I stepped outside I could see in the early light the sky looked ominious.The wind was now about 20 mph and had a heavy feeling to it.I went in to another warehouse, this one a metal pole barn type building.I was checking on some material when I heard a rattling sound.I went to the big door and looked out,holy smokes it was sleeting.I went on the run for the main office I had left earlier.I went in and found the manager and we got in our truck and went to round up the crew.We knew the superindentent would close the site for the day and needed to find eveyone.We had gotten all our people together except for our Sioux friend.We took everyone to brass alley(clock alley) and there is where our Sioux friend was. Told you boss he said been waiting for you here ever since it started.He and I along with one other man got in my truck and we headed for town.By now the sleet had stopped and it was snowing big wet flakes.The wind was picking up and it was pushing hard on the side of the truck.Reaching the highway I knew I had to just follow it to town but the snow was blowing hard across the plains with nothing to stop it.Trying to keep the winshield clear and see the road kept me to 30mph.I was sure we weren't going to make it and were going to slide off the road and be stranded.I thought at least there will be more coming along behind us and we'll be found.After fighting the storm about 15 minutes and still not in sight of town I slowed further.Damn how much farther.My Sioux friend said keep going boss it's going to let up in a minute.Sure enough we had gone less than a mile and the snow turned to a flurry and in another 10 minutes we hit town.I dropped the one guy off and my weatherman friend and I made our motel.Let's get some extra supplies boss it's going to come bac he said. By now I believed everything my friend said about the weather and we went to the store.We stocked up on all the necessary stuff.(translation) BEER.Coming out of the store the storm had resumed and we pushed our way back to the motel.It came down all day and most of the night.14 inches by the next morning.It was four days before we made back to the job site and there we had a real mess. The wind had blown some of the tent warehouses over and the snow had crushed one building.It set us back almost ten days fixing up.But we finally got out of there and on our way  just two days before the next snow hit.I've often wondered where my Sioux friend is as I never met him on another job.
traveler traveler
51-55, M
Oct 25, 2006