Since my first fateful trip with "the guys" from TacomaWorld in 2017, we've tried our best to get together every summer for an adventure. That's not to say that things haven't changed as some of the young guns - once carefree as school let out for the summer - have grown into jobs and families, our two-week jaunts shifting to five days of paid time off, our summer outings shifting into fall. Still, our friendships have persisted - and grown - and this year we are heading back to where (for me) The De-Tour started it all: Montana.
As always, trip preparation was tackled differently for each of us. Mike @Digiratus was ready to go several days before blast off. Zane @Speedytech7 and I took care of a few small tasks each day but were never anxious that we might not be ready to go. And of course, Monte @Blackdawg waited until 24 hours before departure to even glance at his truck.
Still, as Monte looked over Igor and swapped out the various bits and pieces that needed attention, everything was going smoothly - too smoothly we'd all reflect as we look back now - as evening fell and we readied ourselves for adventure.
Even the weather was looking good, the weather guessers predicting that a solid week of wetness would end just as we were crossing the state line.
Then, eight hours before my departure - and eight hours after Mike had blasted off to meet up with Zane - everything changed.