Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Week of W(h)it: Hold On To Your Snowhats and Sunglasses

Caleb is my husband of almost six years, Whitney's friend, web developer, WoW player, Transformers enthusiast, and owner of a cute behind.

When I was a freshman in college I had the lucky chance to have one of my best friends Paul Burkinshaw as my roommate in the dorms. It made the transition to college life a lot easier.

At the end of my freshman year, Paul and I had to get back home so we piled all of our stuff into his small Dodge Neon for the trip. The plan was that Paul would drop me in Denver so my father could pick me up and then Paul would continue on to Oklahoma from there. Most of the drive was pretty straightforward without anything too exciting happening. We took turns driving and made our way across Rocky Mountains.

And then the weather turned rather ugly. 

I was driving at the time when we had to face the climb up to Eisenhower Tunnel. Unfortunately the road was closed because a semi-truck had jackknifed inside the tunnel. As a result, Paul and I wound up sleeping in the car underneath an overpass for several hours while the mess got cleaned up. It really wasn't that bad except for the fact that snow was falling from the sky at an incredibly fast rate.

By the time we got moving again it was at least 7 or 8 inches deep and packed down into a very treacherous ice-pack on top of the road. The snowplows had been unable to get to our side of the highway due to the wreck in the tunnel. Regardless, up the hill we went and we finally passed through the tunnel. It was the downhill portion that got crazy for us.

On the descent from the tunnel, trucks were flying down one lane with little regard to us in smaller vehicles. I'm a pretty good snow driver so things were going alright for us, until the car in front of us panicked and slammed on their brakes, sliding all over the place. I avoided wrecking into that car by sheer luck, if you ask me, but we wound up stuck in a snow bank as a result. 

Paul, ever the man of action, rolled down his window, climbed out, and stood on top of a metal railing (at least a few hundred feet above a rather steep drop) and started to push the car as I rocked it back and forth to get it unstuck. Oh, and did I mention it was about 2:00 in the morning at this point?

I think at one point his leg got trapped between the rail and car, but he got it unstuck pretty quick.

Remember that ice-pack I mentioned earlier? Yeah.... When the car broke free, I had my foot firmly on the brake but the car wasn't going to stop—I simply started sliding down the hill. 

The problem with that? Paul wasn't in the car. 

Instead, he was running down the hill behind me. I managed to slow enough so that he could grab onto his open window on the passenger side, but he couldn't get the door open. He was holding on an basically skiing down the hill in his sandals. Better yet? More trucks were barreling down the other lane, making it rather dangerous all around. 

Eventually I managed to reach over and pop the door, Paul jumped in, and we safely arrived at the bottom of that hill. 

Let's just say we were glad something was on our side that night.

The Week of W(h)it is a collection of funny stories about my friend Whitney Hardie and the people she knows. Whitney's mother recently died and this project is a way to help her grieve through humor. 

No comments:

Post a Comment