Friday, April 21, 2006

I Had To Walk Up A Hill!! Barefoot!! In The Snow!! (Also known as: Vacation Post, Part Deux)

So, where was I?

Oh yeah-when we last left off, Jake and I were on our way from the Meteor Crater in Winslow, AZ to Flagstaff, AZ, where we planned to stay before visiting the Grand Canyon the following day. Well, the further up the mountain we went, the worse the snow became, thanks to a horrendous storm that was barreling down on us. By the time we reached Flagstaff, there was already a good 4-6 inches on the ground, and it was still coming down. The roads weren't too bad, as long as you were careful, and we stopped at the motel we would be staying in for the night. After unloading everything from the car and putting it in the room, I cranked up the heat (it was cold!) and we decided to see if we could find a Wal*Mart to get a couple of things I forgot to bring with us, along with some dinner. Well, we didn't find the Wal*Mart, because we took a wrong turn and ended up in the old "Route 66" part of Flagstaff. We ended up stopping at a Family*Dollar and made our purchases as quickly as possible, since it was after dark, and a sports car and slick roads do not mix well. Well, by the time we got back to the room, it was STILL cold!! I figured out that the heater was broken, and after switching rooms, we settled in for the evening and the snow kept falling while we slumbered.

The next morning, Jake comes barging into the room with breakfast from downstairs and announces that we'll be lucky to get out of there because he'd been up since 5 am (it was 8 by this time) and despite brushing the snow off the car then, it was now covered with another almost 4 inches, on top of what had been falling all night. There were also cars stuck at both the entrance and exit to the motel, and who knows when they'd get unstuck, and the manager was downstairs, cursing in a foreign language-panic was rampant. Trust me, it was a very dramatic moment. To make things worse, I was on my period and very emotional, so when I started to become weepy at the prospect of being stuck in Flagstaff for the rest of my vacation, Jake snapped at me, only making things worse. We went downstairs with my determination to dig us out, (damn it!!) and for me to eat breakfast while there was still any left. Jake at least had the foresight to turn our car around at 5 am, and park backwards in the space, to make it easier to get out. So, we proceeded to use the motel's snow shovel and got to digging! The snow was between 8-24 inches, depending on where the drifts were. But, by golly, we dug, and we got that car clear!! I'd already packed everything up to make for a quick exit, and we rushed downstairs with our bags, throwing them haphazardly into the back of the car. But before leaving I took these three photos from our room to prove how bad it got. Despite all of our hard work, we still weren't sure if we'd actually be able to make it out of the parking lot. I give total credit to Jake's driving skills for getting us out of there. Needless to say, we decided that the Grand Canyon trip was a bust. There was no way we'd safely make it up there.

However, this was not to be the end of our drama. Once on the freeway, the snow was still falling, and everyone was driving 20 mph down the mountain, in the middle of the road. Cars and trucks were off the road, where they had slid before coming to a stop. The trees and ground were covered, and the wind started picking up-blowing the snow even harder. It was a tense ride, but the further we descended down the mountain, the better the driving conditions became. Unfortunately, after we were about an hour away from the motel, I remembered that I had lent Jake my beloved (deceased) Papaw's pocket knife to open something with, and I didn't recall him giving it back. He said he had left it on the night stand, thinking I'd see it. Well, I didn't, and that meant that we had left it behind in our rush to flee the area before more snow could fall. I immediately burst into hysterical sobs, as this was the only physical thing I had left of my Papaw, and I was so mad at Jake I couldn't see straight. I finally came to my senses enough to call the motel and ask that if they found it, could they please hang on to it, until we came back through on our way home? The manager said he would, but my phone died from a bad cell area before I could give him my cell number. All we could do is cross our fingers, and hope the maid found it and turned it in. Since there was nothing we could do, we resolved to enjoy the rest of our vacation, and continued on to.......

Vegas, baby!!! VEGAS!!!!

(to be continued.......)


Kellie said...

Oh, Nat, I hope you got your Pawpaw's knife back. Can't wait to read more :)

Meepers said...

Wow! Action! Adventure! Knives! V. interesting post - I came over here by way of your comment to me, just wanted to say 'hi' and too bad I didn't know you were here - I love giving people "the tour' of SB, or lists of things to Do/Not Do. Did you go up to the Courthouse? And... would it be a Bad Thing if you were to get a box with "Schmine" marked on it? Is that a big no-no?