Frozen Roads and Blowing Snow!

16 02 2010

What an amazing and adventurous day! Took the family a few friends on a journey into the high peaks of North Carolina earlier today. We set out on what we thought we be a 4 or 5 hour trek…but it turned into nearly 12 intense hours on the road!

The objective was simple — find a place where the kids could sled and the parents could see some beautiful picturesque scenes of snowy mountains. What we experienced was a very exciting day, viewing some of the most breath-taking sites we’d ever seen…as well as one of the wildest adventures any of us had gone through in ages.

Let me just say this – the voice on my GPS lied to me! Rather than taking us to the ideal sledding spot on Sugar Mountain, it took us UP (that being a key word to this story) a very desolate old logging road (path really) called Arnett Road. This road climbed a very step grade (of which offered no stopping point or area to turn around). The bottom line was, once we began the climb – we were committed.

Now, since it is that time of year when we celebrate the Winter Olympics — I’ll use a term that I think may make sense to you. You’ve heard of Bob-sledding — well, what we experienced was more like Van-sledding! It was something much, much larger…much faster and not nearly as safe as viewing on TV from the comfort of your own home.

Well, before it was all over, we met 3 very kind US Marines (preparing for their fist deployment to Iraq) and a mountain woman named Jenny (who knew how to safely get us down the mountain without incident)!

To wrap this story up, we broke a rake, had an audience of old men watching from their porches, nearly lost one of my buddies in the DEEP snow, covered the other one with blasts of snow and ice from the spinning rear tires, learned how to properly use tire chains, grew to hate the GPS, listened to the very clear directions of Jenny, re-learned how to drive in snow and ice and remembered…no matter what, never — ever — hit your brakes when driving downhill on frozen snow (no matter how desperately you want to do so). That was a rookie snow driving lesson that I have officially re-learned!

Well, I thank God for this day — that it’s over, that we had a LOT of fun…and that no one got hurt! At least not more than my pride!

Banner Elk, NC — we will be back! 🙂