Another Day in the Mountains
There were so many reasons to get home and write. But no – picture this: After a day of hiking down, across part of, and then back out of Linville Gorge (“The roughest piece of land this side of The Rockies”), my car breaks down on Highway 80 near Bandana. It’s pitch black. Recall that while I do not own a cell phone, I use a Tracphone for roadside emergencies. Recall further that said phone had only 5 minutes remaining and has not been recharged because I have no money–but 911 calls are free. I call 911.
Why? Because I am on a blind curve angled across both lanes. My car is so dead that even the hazards will not light and when it died, along with it went the power steering. Picture further: Tired driver with one arm immobilized at the wrist (long story), driving around a steep mountain curve. Car shuts down, power steering cuts off, tired driver brakes as quickly as possible but has no idea how close she is (or is not) to the edge of the road. No lights, no houses, no stars, no nothing.
Things work out…eventually. I get home with ten thousand million stories in my head, and only one hand to type with. Alas, I’ve ridden in the back of the Sheriff’s car, ventured to the bottom of an epic gorge, and made it back home to a 46 degree house (no kerosene, no propane…and wood from a friend that is, inconveniently, stuck in the back of my broken down Volvo many, many miles from here).
Can you believe I’m still smiling? I am. I really, really am…Because the only thing one can do at this point is sleep. Glorious, sweet, sleep.