Monday, July 26, 2021

The landing is gonna be tricky



  1. That was me heading up the hill to rescue a friend who was working in Yosemite Valley. A blizzard was coming and she was very depressed that she wouldn't see her family for the holidays. Everyone else had left the valley, she was the only one there.

    It was night during my drive up. Everything covered in deep snow, the road needed plowing again. I careened off a few snow banks. I came into the valley proper on a service road. My stroke of luck, the gate was open. At her tent, I urged her to hurry up, we have to go now!

    Heading back to the gate, a snow plow was idling there. The driver said he saw my tracks from when I came in so decided to wait a bit before locking the gate. He said it was his last duty before taking a week off. We got out and down the hill in the nick of time. The valley was closed for more than a week afterward because of the blizzard. Her family was overjoyed to see her at their door at 2AM.

    1. Thanks.
      What I forgot to add was I was hell bent driving up the hill. I knew that road very well. I could anticipate a turn to the left or right or a straight away. My focus was intense. I dare not lose my place along the roadbed. Gone were the visual cues, buried under a blanket of snow. I navigated by memory. A few times I lost track where I was on the road. I slowed down until I found my way again. Then it was wide open, pedal to the metal. I really enjoyed it.

      Everything coated in a deep blanket of white. It was eerie driving a ribbon cut like a canyon through the foreboding darkness deepened and closed in by unbroken stands of trees on either side which I could only sense at the periphery of my vision. Truly sense since nothing but the indistinct road in my headlights was visible yet the faint illumination of the surrounding forest. Surreal and captivating yet acutely heightened awareness is how I describe it. I bounced off snow banks several times. At least once I got semi-covered when a snow bank collapsed onto my speedster. I was loving it.

      Several times it began to snow. I felt drawn down by dread; will the snow become heavier, will I be able to find the road, will I myself become a casualty? These thoughts perished as fast I drove out the other side of a flurry. I was focused like only a very few times ever before or since. And I was on a mission.

      A friend had patched through to say I was coming so she should be packed and ready when I arrived. Like any young woman out on her own for the first time in her life, she hadn't understood the urgency. She wasn't packed. She dawdled while I stood by impatiently then helping her then just throwing her stuff into the car. Forget that other stuff! Let's GO!

      Drifting down the hill at a relaxed pace, knowing the worst was over, the package safe and secure, the grand pay off was knocking on her parent's door, waking them up, seeing her mother sob in joy, her dad eyeing me with suspicion (protective of his daughter). Good night and Merry Christmas. And like that I was gone into the wee hours.