How Mysterious Tracks Gave Her Hope in a Snowstorm

After her cell phone lost service in the midst of a blizzard, she started to follow peculiar headlights hoping to find a way out...

Posted in , Nov 24, 2021

A snowy road from a car's dashboard view; Getty Images/iStock Photo

Thick snowflakes swirled around my windshield. Everything around me was blanketed in white. The light was fading as the sun set over the rocky peaks.

I was driving up a mountain pass on what was supposed to be a four-hour trip from Red River, New Mexico, to Durango, Colorado. I inched along on a winding, unfamiliar road in a snowstorm.

I was on my way to meet my boyfriend, who was visiting his family in Durango. He’d invited me to join them for the weekend. I was staying at a friend’s house in Red River. The fastest way to Durango from Red River would take me through this mountain road, but I was so excited about the weekend ahead that the route didn’t faze me. I left without checking the weather.

Thirty minutes into my drive, the snow had started. Gentle flurries at first. I thought about turning around. But it hardly looked threatening, so I continued.

Now I regretted that decision. But it was too late. The road was too narrow and icy for me to turn around. To my right was a sheer cliff face, and to the left, a sharp drop-off descending hundreds of feet. The snow was bad, getting worse. The only way out was forward, higher and higher into the mountains. The last bit of sunlight disappeared, and I couldn’t see anything beyond the few feet illuminated by my headlights. I panicked.

My cell phone had lost service as soon as I’d entered the mountain pass and remained at zero bars. I couldn’t call for help. I had some bottled water in the trunk. The clothes in my luggage. Maybe I could find a place to pull over and bundle up until morning. Would that be enough to keep me warm all night? How long would it take for someone to find me? If anyone ever would…

I gripped the wheel tighter. “Please, God, help me,” I whispered.

Then I noticed something. A pair of lights seemed to glow dimly through the snowstorm. I blinked hard, then peered ahead. There they were. Taillights! There was a car in front of me! At least someone was here with me. Focus on the lights, I told myself, not your fear.

I followed my guide for at least another half hour as we continued to ascend the mountain. Finally, I felt the road start to level out and then gradually descend. I lost sight of the taillights ahead of me. But the panic didn’t return. I could see the car’s tire tracks in my headlights. All I had to do was follow the tracks the rest of the way down the mountain. I drove slowly, keeping my wheels within the tracks every inch of the way. Soon I could see the lights of a town twinkling in the distance. The snow started to cover the tracks I was following. But both of us had made it.

At the base of the mountain, I spotted taillights. I wondered if it was my guide. If so, I wanted to thank him. But as I got closer, I saw it wasn’t a car. It was a snowplow. I pulled up beside it and rolled down my window. The driver of the plow did the same.

“Excuse me,” I said. “Did you see another car come down this road, ahead of me?”

The driver looked at me as if I was insane. “Lady,” he said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve been working here at the base of the mountain for the past two or three hours. No one has gone up or come down that mountain but you.”

I didn’t correct him, but I knew differently. I hadn’t been alone on that mountain road that night.

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