We got a cold winter storm here in California last week. The snow level was down to one-thousand feet. 1000 feet! I didn’t get out to the trails until three days after the storm (Friday). And I chose Trabuco Canyon since I wouldn’t have to do any mountain driving. Pretty safe choice, or so I thought.
About a mile into the canyon I spotted snow at the sides of the road. And about a half mile later, the shady road turned icy. Well, I was determined to make the five mile drive into Holy Jim. But somewhere around mile 3, my tires started spinning and I found myself stuck in a rut before a large boulder on the ice. After attempting to drive out of the small whole and up over the rock, I decided to exit the truck to see to survey the situation. I could see that if I backed out of the rut, and cut the wheel sharply to the left avoiding the boulder up front, I would hit a patch of dirt. This I did, and continued driving slowly onward on that sloped canyon road. Very soon, I saw a truck driving toward me. The driver hung his head out as he passed and said, “Be careful in there – we had to turn back because it was too icy.”
I REALLY wanted to get to the Holy Jim lot. But quite quickly, I decided that this was not a very smart move. The mountain sides covered in snow, the road was pretty much solid ice and slanted in a direction that if I slid, I’d slide right off the road into Trabuco Creek. Last thing I wanted to do was hike back out of the canyon for cell reception to call for help. Hubby would not be happy.
And so, I began the harrowing task of turning my truck around on the ice. The road is thin, and being icy, made it even more difficult to turn around. I also had another problem. Turning the truck around put me nearly face forward with a giant ice puddle. Now, when I drove in, I hugged the mountain side of this puddle, avoiding it completely. But now, I could not get my car back to that side of the road – the space was too tight and too slippery.
So, I just sat there with my car perpendicular to the road, trying to think up a plan when two men came hiking up. “What do I do?” I asked the gentlemen. One of them had blood dripping down from his knee from a fall on the ice. He told me get the truck in the lowest gear then turn my wheel a little to the left. I followed his instructions. "A little more to the left he said." And then, "Now, just drive and momentum will get you through the puddle.” With no other options, I drove, with my wheel turned as directed I went down into the side of the puddle on the far edge, and then back up on the other end.
Whew! I drove back to the closest lot, parked and pushed in the emergency brake. And as I sat there prepping for some outside time, my truck began sliding. Turned off and with the brake on! Determined to get out there, I started the my truck back up and drove further out of the canyon, found a flat spot in the snow, parked, and with my heavy coat hiked back into the canyon.
I hiked back to the Holy Jim lot, saving myself from a spill on the ice many times. During my hike back out, cars were sliding all over the road, ice chips and rocks flying at my legs. Eventually, I figured I would be safer off the road, so I hiked down to the creek and made my way back to the truck slushing through the snow all by myself. (2.31 miles hiked)
Tuesday, I made it back to the trails for a 10.63 mile run in Aliso / Wood Canyons that kicked my ass. Yup. Chewed me up and spit me out.
Let 2015 begin!