Saturday, July 19, 2008

When the Boys Learned how to Snowboard



Okay, to explain myself here... I am joining in Absolutely Bananas Monday Writing Prompt today, and today's prompt is "Travel Horror Stories." There is supposed to be a cute little button above here, but the code isn't working apparently. (UPDATE: cute little button has been fixed.)

Sorry. I don't do code, so you'll just have to take my word for it. :)

So, without further procrastination, here is a true travel horror story...

We live in Illinois.

We live in a very flat state known as Illinois.

When we moved here from Colorado, we were shocked to find out that Illinois has no mountains, and no ski areas.

When we first moved here from Colorado, we were told that Illinois, specifically the Chicago land area had a ski area that was (get this) comparable to those in Colorado.

Specifically Vail.

I, being familiar with Vail, and it's 11,000 foot elevation immediately had to look around for a mountain sticking up somewhere - couldn't see it.

Did I mention that people from Wisconsin call people from Illinois "Flat Landers?"

There is a good reason for that.

Well things started looking up when my brother in law met this lovely young lady (who he eventually married) whose family just happened to own a condo in Frisco, Colorado. Better yet, they were going to rent it out to us, at a nicely discounted rate. All we had to do was get there.

Wanting to avoid heavy winter weather we decided to go in March. The weather would be a little warmer, so that the boys wouldn't be too cold when they fell in the snow.

We left our house on a Friday afternoon after I got off of work, we always travel this way because the kids go to sleep and the traveling is, let's just say, quieter. The weather forecast looked good, and we figured that we would be in Frisco by noon on Saturday, easy.

It started snowing in Des Moines, Iowa.

Normally it takes me two hours to drive from Des Moines to Omaha, Nebraska.

I pulled over after five, and we were still forty miles from Omaha. The roads were just not passable, so we found a rest area and took a little break, a six hour break.

After filling the van up with some gas, we got started west once again, and the rest of the trip to Frisco was relatively uneventful, just noisier.

We were in Colorado for a week and decided to catch up with some high school friends of mine. We decided to meet at Casa Bonita, a little Mexican restaurant that has great atmosphere, but not so great food. The atmosphere includes seating in caves (not real ones), a mariachi band, cliff divers and an arcade. The food, like I said isn't great in fact it's barely good, with the exception of the sopapillas. Those are awesome!

After that great visit with our friends we had to drive back to the condo, which would take about an hour or so. Interstate seventy runs through the mountains, with steep grades and lots of winding roads. One should always be careful, especially at night.

We were halfway back to the condo when a car decided to tail gate us. There are three lanes on I-70, and it was just the two of us on the highway. I tried to slow down, he wouldn't pass us. I tried speeding up and he stayed right on our tail. So, I slowed down again. That did it and he passed us, and then proceeded to get in front of me.So I flashed him with my brights, to show my displeasure, and figured that he would just drive away.

I was wrong.

He slammed on his brakes and lost control of his car. He slid to the right, where if it weren't for the guard rail he would have plummeted hundreds (maybe even thousands) of feet to the bottom of the mountain and into the creek below.

Not a fun trip for sure.

Anyway, the guy bounced off the guard rail right towards us! There was nothing we could do, except pray that he missed us. He did, but barely. I slowed down to make sure he was okay, and noticed that he was heading back up the mountain. And gaining. Jenni started to get worried, and the kids woke up (someone had screamed when the car ricocheted towards us), and the car kept gaining on us.

I was not going to stop now. Not with an obviously crazy, or at least slightly impaired driver on my tail. Thankfully, either his car started to show the effects of the crash, or he got off at an earlier exit, but we never saw him again.

Oh, and the boys learned how to snowboard.