For their honeymoon, Steve Brykman and his wife decided to travel cross-country in their camper. When they reached Wyoming, they decided to take the scenic route, traveling up the Big Horn mountains to catch the view. Seeing as it was September, they thought nothing of it. But as they traveled up the mountain, the weather began to take a turn for the worse. A freak snow storm, they called it. Complete white-out. Then they lost control of the camper, and began traveling down the narrow mountain roads backwards. They flipped over. Fortunately, the roads weren’t empty and the actions of several strangers turned what would have been a nightmare honeymoon into a remarkable story of kindness.
My wife and I were on our honeymoon and we had this souped up ‘84 Westy camper and we decided that we were going to travel across the country for our honeymoon in the camper. And we got to Wyoming, and this was the first week in September and so we decided to take the scenic route which went up into the Big Horn mountains. So we started heading up those mountains, and then it started to rain a little, and then it starts to get cold, and rain starts to freeze on the windshield, hindering our vision. And then it begins to snow. I remember cattle heading down the mountain, which probably should’ve been our first indication we should’ve been out of there. And within like 5 minutes we were in a complete white-out, and it became clear this was going to be just a complete disaster. And then a gust of wind just hit the side of the camper, which is basically just a giant rectangle, and actually spun the camper entirely around so that we were traveling down this mountain backwards. I’m not a very religious person but I remember saying like ‘Okay, God! It’s up to you! It’s your call!” It seemed like forever, but it was probably a few seconds later that we hit the side of the road and rolled the camper upside down on the side of the road that happened to have a side to it. Because on the other side of the road it was just a sheer cliff face. And wound up stopping upside down, and we had to get out of it upside down. My wife, who’s a much quicker thinker than I am was able to hop into the road. I remember thinking like “oh wow that’s amazing that she was able to get all the wedding gifts out of the car and arrange them on the road like that.” Of course, she didn’t. They had just flown out of the vehicle. Fortunately, a car came within 5 or 10 minutes and the guy stopped, and he was training to be a fireman so we knew we were in good hands. And he helped us pack up his car with whatever we needed, and took us down the mountain in the Lovell, Wyoming. And we did go to the hospital and get checked out. We were okay. And the nurse drove us back to the hotel, so I asked her how do we get out of here? The nearest car rental place is out in Cody, Wyoming which is 50-60 miles from where we were. So the nurse was like ‘well I’m going that way anyway so I’ll give you a ride.” So I don’t think she was ‘going that way anyway,’ I think she was just doing it to be nice and to help us get on with our honeymoon.This experience taught me that there’s always going to be somebody to help you no matter where you are. Because, I mean, we were in the middle of nowhere on a mountain in the middle of a freak snowstorm and here’s a fireman in training coming to our rescue. But there it is.
Photo courtesy of Steve Brykman