Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Whole Story

Oh dear, Taylor told me that post was too dramatic and was going to make people too concerned. Thanks, everyone, for your well wishes. Here's the thing, from Taylor's vantage point, it wasn't that dangerous or scary of a situation. From my vantage point, it was even scarier than that last post made it sound! Of course I'm innately neurotic and dramatic, so that doesn't help. Plus I'm 1000 times wussier now that I'm a mother, but anyway, here's what happened...

We waited a couple of days to leave Oregon because of the horrible storms that were going through Northern California and Nevada--exactly where we needed to drive. All of the news was saying you shouldn't travel and if you did you should have a survival kit, etc. I could just see us stranded somewhere in the freezing cold with a toddler...not a pretty image. That toddler, by the way, had been puking his guts out for a few days, so that added to our decision to wait. Finally Monday morning looked like the day to leave--there was a break in the storm. We had 2 routes of travel to choose from, and, after learning that they were requiring chains on the Siskyou summit (just north of the OR-CA border), we decided to go through Klammath Falls and Lakeview, Oregon instead. So we headed up Dead Indian Memorial Road (for those of you who know the geography), which is steep and windy, and not particularly well-travelled. We quickly learned that they should have been requiring chains on this road as well. Only about 10 miles out of town, the road became B-A-D. Covered in snow with a nice sheet of ice underneath. We decided to stop and put our chains on. Taylor put the car in park and started laying the chains out on the road. I was in the passenger seat and Blaine was asleep (thank heaven) in his car seat. That's when we started sliding backwards down the hill. (It wasn't super steep, but so slippery.) My gut reaction was to pull up the emergency brake, which of course did nothing, because it wasn't a matter of brakes--our car was in park just sliding backwards down the hill! Taylor jumped back in the car but, again, basically had no control of the car. Our back end just slid right into a snow bank where we stopped--and got stuck. Now see, again, from Tay's view point, not that scary. He was well aware that there was a big enough snow bank on the side of the road to stop us. I wasn't. All I knew was that there were no guard rails and a steep slope to my right. So when my baby and I were in that car sliding backwards, for all I knew, I was sliding right off that cliff. Anyway, we couldn't get cell phone service so Taylor started walking down to where he could get some and I stayed in the car with Blaine. I was trying so hard to stay calm because I hate that panic/anxiety-laden side of myself. That's when cute Mary stopped. She was on her way to go cross-country skiing, but instead she spent an hour with a shaking Anne. (Oh, and she couldn't get going up the hill again either. Even with studded tires, it was so slick that her wheels just kept spinning! Finally she got out of there--poor thing! I totally dragged the good Samaritan down with me!) We were pretty much bff by the time she drove away. She has a brand new granddaughter, by the way. Congrats, Mary! Taylor was able to reach his dad, who brought up the good ol' Suburban to tow us out. Now calm, I started to panic again. "Should I get Blaine out of the car? Will we be safe? What if he slides backward into us?" (Thanks, Mom, for the neurotic genes.) Taylor assured me everything would be fine, and of course it was. We drove slowly down the mountain and back home to Taylor's parents' house for intermission. 2 1/2 hours spent, and back at square one! We decided on the I-5 route, where they were no longer requiring chains, and it turned out to be ridiculously dry and clear for the majority of our trip back to Utah. There were some snowy parts, some slick spots, and we even chained up once, so it was a longer trip than usual, but all in all, it wasn't too bad. Blaine is a weirdo child who doesn't sleep in his car seat, so he was wide awake the entire two days of driving, and he did great. So that's the story. It started out pretty dicey there, but all is well. And praises be to Mary.

7 comments:

EMILY said...

I am so glad you are home safe! My dad mentioned that you guys were still stuck in Oregon. Southern Oregon is the hardest place to get to. If driving the roads are horrible, if flying the fog gets so bad you can't land. But, oh what a beautiful place!

Again, glad you and your little family are home safe.

Joan Koplin said...

Oh man can I relate to your story! I feel like we drove through "hell and back" when really it was Lehi, Utah to Las Vegas, NV to Phoenix, AZ! We had a lovely (note the sarcasm) 12 hour ride and with two babies that seemed like twenty five instead!
Don't feel neurotic. I entirely understand. Snow scares the life out of me. I am such a "granny in the slow lane" driver in the snow.
Love you.

Jill said...

Mary is an angel. Glad she helped.

But I have just one question for Taylor: "What were you thinking taking Dead Indian to go to Kalamath in this kind of weather? You're such an Ashlander!"

:)

kate said...

Wew, glad your safe...makes for a very dramatic story to tell! I'm with Jill...with a name like "Dead Indian" it just makes it seem like that should not be road traveled by in stormy weather! But I guess heading all the way through Medford seems a bit out of the way!

I'm just glad your home, and in a roomier car too!!

lori said...

I love that this post is labeled "Holiday Magic"

And I, too, your journey ended safely!!

Sarah said...

I think I would have been totally freaked out as well. It's always good to have someone with you who can see the bigger picture. I'm glad everything turned out alright.

Lorraine said...

Scary....I am so glad you are okay!! Yikes.