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Friday, January 4, 2013

Saga in the Sierras

With our car filled to the brim with food and ski equipment, we finally arrived at the Soda Springs exit (off I-80) .   We slowly crawled toward the cabin along Donner Pass Road (old US 40) surrounded by six foot walls of snow.  I admit  I felt a bit uneasy since it's been almost three years since I've driven in snow.

As we were attempting to clear the pile of snow blocking the garage door, a huge snowplow arrived and   accomplished the task in just a few minutes (it would have taken us at least 30 minutes). During the summer, one can drive right up to the cabin.  But in the winter, you park in the garage at the street  and then schlep through the powdery snow about 100 yards to the front door.

DZ and Mr. Shoe donned snow shoes and supposedly blazed the trail for the rest of us.  We followed.
It was slow... we sank to top of our thighs with each step .  Half way to the front door, Martha got stuck. There she was with her bare foot sticking up and her boot buried in the snow.  Sophie was trying to dig her  out.  Lil Shoe was cold and crying.  We were all cold...frigid cold... We kept thinking of the Donner Party who were stuck in the snow 150 years ago  a few miles away (wearing thin long wool dresses and who knows what they wore for shoes for I understand they ate all the leather).

It was 1 degree out there under the light of the full moon.  I've never been at the cabin when it was that cold.
It is cold here

After a while, we finally got Martha's boot out...thankfully before her foot froze or she went into hypothermia.  We dragged our tired and cold bodies  along the rest of the path to the cabin. Once inside,tried to get warm.  Then, Mrs. Shoe realized she lost her car keys.  The only set of keys. Luckily, she didn't lock the car. So for the next couple of hours,  DZ and Mr. Shoe  looked for those keys along that 100 yard path to no avail.

In the meantime, Mrs. Shoe contacted her cousin Dan (who was coming up the next day) and had him break into her house to get another set of keys.  We were all holding our breath worried that the neighbors would call the cops and Dan would be arrested for breaking and entering.  It was a relief when we received the text from Dan..."got the keys".  Dan's the man.

Eben's cabin covered in snow
This is what the cabin looked like in the morning.  The snow is at least ten feet deep.

The next morning, as Mr. and Mrs. Shoe were heading down to Truckee to rent a metal detector, I suggested we take one last look at the spot of Martha's boot debacle, and after a few shovels of snow, lo and behold, the bright shiny keys were glistening in the snow.  Hallelujah.

So, what lessons can we learn from this experience?


Gwen McLean said...

I'm so glad you got the keys and "unstuck" Martha!

Lesson learned: Take a cruise the Caribbean over Christmas and New Year's and save the skiing for the Spring! (Just kidding...looks like it was a BLAST!)

Happy New Year!

Daniel Siegel said...

I'd like to point out that I almost broke into the wrong house at 12 am while looking for the keys. I'd never been to the Shoe's house at night and had a hard time finding the numbers from the street. A quick call to Sophie just to double check saved me from hopping through a window into a random family's home.

Martha said...

I learned the following:
Thin cotton gloves from Old Navy do not cut it in real winter weather.
Slip on boots come off in deep snow.

Sophie - thank you for digging me out!

David and David - thank you for blazing the trail (over and over again) and bringing up all the stuff from the car.
Karen - thank you for all the incredible meals you prepared. We ate like kings!
It was a blast of a trip!! Next time I'll be better prepared.