Lost In the Country

I mentioned before that for awhile I worked on the missile silo program.  While I was doing so in Montana, I was camped in a little town near Great Falls.  I had a homemade camper on the back of my flatbed pick-up.

For work, the company had given me a company pick-up to use.  Near where I was camped there was a hotel where the guy I was working with was staying.  He was an older man who hailed from Minnesota.  He was a source of many stories of wild experiences.

One day when I was doing the driving we travelled to a site Southeast of Great Falls somewhere.  (That’s as close to an exact location as I can give; not for security reasons, but because it was a lot of years ago.)

We worked hard all day and when we left to go home it was already dark.  We were headed back to the little town where we were staying.  I drove a couple of miles back to a crossroads and turned left.  My partner said to me; “Aren’t you going the wrong way?”

Confidently I replied; “No.  We will just go the next crossroads and make a right.  It will take us directly to where I’m camped.”

We drove silently for awhile.  We came over a rise and there were the lights of Great Falls.  “Oh shucks.  Those lights are Great Falls, I’m going the wrong way!”  (Even then Great Falls was significantly larger than the little town we were in.)

So I whipped into an approach and performed a very quick 2 point turn, and headed back the other way.  By way of an apology I said to him: “I guess I was lost.  You were right.  What’s my name?”

We drove in total silence for about 10 miles until we came over a rise and there were the lights of the little town where I was camped and he had a hotel room.  He slapped me hard on the knee and said; “Auu-dreee-auun!”

Having grown up around Scandinavian neighbors, I was used to having my name pronounced strangely.

It didn’t take long for the story to get around about me getting lost in the countryside.  In fact one day a bunch of us were eating in a café and they gave me (a guy from Montana that lived nearby <within 100 miles>)  a pretty bad time over it.