It's been a long time since I've felt such terror. I can't even say when I've been so scared. We had snow last evening. It was a lot more than we expected. They were calling for an inch or two and we got more like four or five. Emma was scheduled to go to a birthday party. We knew the house was way up a long hill with a perilous driveway, but M offered to drive us up in the four wheel drive pickup so we thought we'd just make it an adventure.
It was still snowing hard around 6:00 p.m. when the party was supposed to start. I called the mom to make sure the party was still going on. She told me that the grandparents were there already, and other family members. By that point most everyone had cancelled. I told her I thought we'd try to come and she was really excited because she'd been afraid her daughter wouldn't have one kid to play with at her own birthday party. That made me want to try even more.
We'd been told the house was the first left after Smith's* Store. We found the first left. It led up a really steep grade cut into the side of a small mountain. The drop off on the left of us was a cliff basically. For a little bit there was a fence running up the road. It was a very narrow road. Only a foot or two of clearance on either side. I was practically whimpering as we went up the hill. All I could think off was the sheer drop-off to our left. Even in four wheel drive the truck was grinding and wobbling it's way up. Then the fence ran out. Then the truck started sliding consistently leftward. Emma was chattering nervously, picking up on my hysterical fear. We had to get her to be quiet. Then M had to tell me to be quiet.
We finally stopped. We couldn't go forward anymore. Then we were faced with backing down this narrow pass in the slippery snow without sliding off the mountain. My heart was pounding so hard and I had a death-grip on Emma's leg. Thank God for my husband, who was able to keep his cool.
We obviously made it down the mountain. Turns out the driveway is actually the "second" left after the store. That driveway had a sheer dropoff on one side too, but my confidence that it was actually a driveway kept me from bursting out in tears. We made it up the to house. When we went in we told them about our little detour. They knew that road and you could see the look of horror on their faces when they realized what we'd done. They were sweating a bit too, glad that we'd survived to tell the tale. Because A. They were the ones that gave us the bad directions and B. They knew exactly what we'd been up against on that old road.
After that I was emotionally spent. We had a nice visit with the grown-ups while Emma and one other child played with the birthday girl. The terrifying trip there did not detract from the party itself. However, when I got home all I wanted was my bed. I was done for the night.
Still glad to be alive today.
*not real name