Thursday, December 31st, 2009
Last Wednesday my husband and I watched The Weather channel to see how the pending winter storm would affect our road trip to Telluride Colorado. It looked like it might get rough so we did something we have never done in all the years we have been traveling to my friend Carrie’s mountain house for Christmas…we left early. We usually scramble out and drive the 14 hours straight through, often arriving in the middle of the night.
Two years ago when we made the trip, at about 2:00 am, I was driving (mind you I don’t really like driving at night or in the mountains)…we hit black ice and sailed over the side of the road. After the car knocked down multiple skinny Aspen trees and we were frighteningly plummeting into the dark abyss, a bigger tree stopped the car. Everyone was shaken but fine. When I opened the car door to climb back up the embankment to try to get cell reception to call for help a man was standing at the top asking if we were ok. It was Christmas Eve…if he would have had a long white beard it would have been perfect. It turned out that his son had hit the black ice 20 minutes before and gone over the other side and he had come to pick him up. All 5 of us crawled out of the car and climbed up to the road. We left the car with all our Christmas presents, suitcases, etc. and got a lift with this nice man. As we got into bed at Carrie’s house we were rattled and unbelievably grateful that it was only as bad as it was. The next day Michael (my husband) got a tow truck driver with a crane to hoist the car up and out. Every side of the car was dented but it was drivable…Yeah…
I tell this story to explain why I don’t drive in the mountains anymore and the middle of the night arrivals are no longer an option. OK, so some people have to learn the hard way… the really hard way.
So I got the boys to put the bullet on the car and load it up and when Michael got home from work we headed out. We drove 5 hours to Phoenix, got a hotel room and were up early the next day for the uneventful 9 hour finish. The family camaraderie was back and we had a drive full of laughs and stories, burgers and naps. The closeness was returning and everyone was anxiously anticipating our mountain get away. My kids grew up with Carrie’s kids and they don’t see them much now that they are away at school, so they looked forward to hanging out with them for a week.
We arrived at their house at 6pm on Christmas eve and the evening was in full swing with the fire roaring and a turkey in the oven.