And with that, it's my belief that somewhere in the heavenly realms an emergency meeting of the guardian angels was called and all hands on deck were ordered to be on Courter-duty the last weekend of February.
Apparently, Tennessee spent much of their winter dealing with snow, because a few days before we were scheduled to leave, we all received an email warning us to "come prepared with extra food, equipment and supplies" and were "strongly urged" to travel in a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
So on Friday morning Zac and Ron loaded up our 2-wheel drive mini-van with 2 days worth of clothes, snacks and breakfast cereal (read: the exact amount of food and supplies we'd originally planned), and then threw in a fire starter log and lighter. Voila. "Equipment."
Zac, Barbara and the baby were riding with us. Aubrey and Nick were driving separately and planned to arrive later that night.
We were a little worried about the road conditions we might encounter, but the further into Tennessee we drove and experienced no problems whatsoever, we began to let down our guard and do what we do...make fun of those dramatic Tennessee residents and their obvious intolerance for a little snow. At one point as we climbed the mountain, a snow plow passed us going the other way with it's plow scraping dry ground and throwing off sparks.
Tennessee. Psh. Stooopid.
We eventually made a sharp right onto the road leading down to our cabin and there in the middle, blocking our way, was a 4-wheel drive vehicle with it's hazards on. Come on, dude. MOVE. So Ron maneuvered around to the left of the guy and then quickly realized why he was stopped when we found ourselves staring straight down a steep hill that disappeared around a hairpin turn that was covered in a solid sheet of ice and snow. Ron slammed on his brakes, we all gasped and instinctively pressed ourselves into the backs of our seats as if we were teetering on the edge of a cliff while Kearstin screamed from the back.
We'll see you your drama and raise you some panic.
Somehow it was decided that everyone else would wait in the van while Zac and I walked to the cabin to survey the situation, me in my yoga pants and ugg boots. I mean, how far could it be, right? Turns out, half a mile going downhill, then uphill and around curves in the bitter cold is far enough to have to make a pee stop in the middle of the road where Zac got a little fancy with his. Mine, which resembled steaming demonic markings in the snow, was nothing to photograph.
We finally reached our cabin. The cabin named, 'Amazing Grace.' Clearly, God has a sense of humor.
Obviously, the van was not going to make it to the cabin and daylight was quickly fading. Zac called the rental agency and told them we couldn't reach the cabin and they gave us a phone number to call to "apply for a refund" which is code for: Screw you and your mini-van, too.
He knew the key code, so we decided to go in and get warm before trekking back up the mountain to the rest of the family. After several unsuccessful attempts, he called the agency back to find out how to work the key pad. She was surprised to hear that we'd made it to our cabin when just 2 minutes ago, we reported that we couldn't. Zac explained that he and I had walked there and the rest of the family, including a 3 month old infant, was currently sitting in a mini-van at the top of the mountain. To which she
replied, "Then I'll mark you as checked in."
And with that, Zac's cell phone lost service.
Damn you, Tennessee.
To be continued...