It was after we went on this little adventure that I thought, “man, I should have taken a picture of that!”. Driving down the road today, seeing the street like this and the same feeling of the snow crumbling beneath my tires, brought me back and actually unsettled me as I recalled this scary adventure. With this picture taken today, I will try to recreate this scary adventure, but I need you to work with me for a minute, use your imagination and put yourself in my place…unless of course you like this type of thing….then you can laugh at my overreaction.
We were in Northeastern Pennsylvania, visiting my parents for Christmas. My mom wanted to take the kids for frozen yogurt, but we had arrived at the place thirty minutes before they opened. The sensible thing would have been to go back to her house (about five minutes back to include traffic lights) and wait for the thirty minutes for the place to open. Instead though, I suggested we drive up the road to a neighboring town. I drove incredibly fast…well not that fast, the town was just not as far as I had remembered as a child….it only took us five minutes and we still had twenty-five minutes to kill. At this point, my mom suggested we continue our ride.
So we end up driving in my mini-van, totally not accustomed to the elements of nature, down a narrow, dirt road covered with snow. When I define the road as narrow, it is just wide enough for two cars to drive, no shoulders, just ditch. Everything was going well until we reached a slick spot and I started sliding. Now, I think I should mention that I had driven on this road plenty of times in the spring to fall months, months without snow. And I’ve only ever gone so far down the road and turn around.
There is an SUV behind us, presumably four or all-wheel drive. I am kind of crawling down the road and the SUV just zoomed up behind me and it is now riding my bumper. I couldn’t really pull to the side to let them pass because I likely would have gotten stuck in a ditch. So we continued straight on, passing snow-covered driveway after snow-covered driveway….no place to turn around. There was one driveway that looked manageable, but with the person riding my bumper, I couldn’t risk coming to a fast stop to turn, so I proceeded. I know I said I was creeping, and I was, but slamming your brakes even at 5 miles an hour on snow and ice, well, that’s like speeding.
The car behind us finally turns into a driveway, and I sigh in relief. But, it got worse.
What started out as a straight snow-covered dirt road ended up being a road going downward, down the side of a mountain, trees to our right and our left and at some points in front of us as the road was winding. I rode the brake the entire way. Scared. Sweating. Near panic mode.
The road went on forever. Seriously. While we are driving it, my mom is gasping as the road’s appearance looks more treacherous, and with recalling that just a little bit ago we had slid on something that looked fine in comparison, it was treacherous.
One of my teenage daughters in the back gasps….”I don’t want to die“…dramatic much?
My other teenage daughter is chattering about who knows what, seriously, I can’t recall at all what she was chattering about. All I know though is at this point I just want silence, or loud music, but seriously, no talking!!!
My panic mode is increasing and my heart is pounding violently in my chest so I begin reciting the theme bible verse from Vacation Bible School this past summer…..I am so thankful I went to VBS! I was praying for the Lord to keep us safe and prayerfully hoping that the road let out somewhere….anywhere.
2 Timothy 1:7
King James Version (KJV)
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
I have some random thoughts going through my head, completely relevant to this adventure.
“I don’t have a coat on.”
“I am wearing flip-flops.” (don’t judge – I never intended getting out of the car at the frozen yogurt place – and I certainly didn’t plan to walk miles looking for help).
“I have no cell reception.” (we are seriously in the midst of the forest driving down a mountain.)
“Why did I even do this, and with my kids in the car. Lord, please keep us safe.”
“Am I going to have to walk into that creepy taxidermist place and see animal carcasses with strange-looking men with no teeth and bloody aprons with huge meat cleavers in their hands and ask for help?” (sorry – I guess that’s the image I have of a taxidermist.)
“Does this road let out anywhere?” (yeah – I didn’t know, and neither did my mom.)
“If it is a dead-end, we will never make it back up this mountain.”
Alas though, just ahead, a glimmer of hope…..DRY PAVEMENT! I was so relieved! We ended up in a different county and the length of our trip ended up being thirty miles and an hour and forty-five minutes later, we were finally back at the frozen yogurt place.