It was slow going as he carefully negotiated the route northeast of Chokio. He was one of the youngest drivers at age 26. His youthful strength came in handy as he carried the youngest two of the Earl Adolphson children through deep snow to their front door, with the other siblings huddled closely behind him.
Getting himself to safety was his next challenge. When he left Adolphsons, he drove south a mile then turned west until he hit the tar road.
“I could have gone north one mile to our farm, but I couldn’t see,” Roger recalled.
“Upon turning south on the tar, the bus motor quit and the wind pushed the bus down the tar road past the Melberg home. He did not see the house as he passed by,” Julene noted. The heater was no longer working.
“The bus was off the road a bit, south of the Earl Melbergs farm. I decided I knew where I was. I walked north half a mile. I could see a fence line for a little bit. For a while I walked backwards (facing away from the storm) because my eyes were froze shut. I hit something that knocked me. It was Melberg’s mailbox,” he said.
“When I pounded on the door, (Melberg) grabbed me and said, ‘Where the heck have you been? Everyone is looking for you!’”
Roger didn’t know that anyone was looking for him. Neither did his wife, Julene. She taught second grade, and was in town for the duration of the storm. She saw her students safely off to their in-town “snow homes,” as pre-arranged.
It wasn’t until Roger was known to be safe at the Melbergs that she learned of his long ordeal in the storm.
“I didn’t know where Roger was,” Julene mused. “I didn’t know he was missing!”