Monday, August 06, 2007

Dead End

About the time he told us to back up, my uncle Randy should've guessed this would end up on my blog. It was a comical mistake that had some laughing and some scared to death!

When we arrived in Tennessee, we decided to have dinner together before we checked into our cabin. It was a good idea because it meant that we would arrive at the cabin together. So after we'd paid our bills and piled back into our cars we all set out for the cabin rental office. Five cars in their small parking lot sort of overwhelmed it so some of us moved around to the adjacent road, that clearly led up a mountain to some beautiful looking cabins. Anticipation and excitement were building!

After Randy got our door code and directions, he came out of the office and signaled all five cars back down the road - the way we'd just come. Everyone turned around and followed his turtle-topped van, slightly disappointed that we weren't headed up the mountain toward those cabins we could see. Still, we followed him with great excitement. And he had the directions.

About a mile down the road, brake lights came on and then right turn signals. (Or indicator lights, as my friend Christine calls them. ) Everyone turned and started up a steep incline. Just after the turn, the road split. To the left was a road that led up through the woods. To the right was a road that led past a small building and a pool, and not many trees. The turtle top went left. And so so did all four cars following.

Now would be a good time to tell you that we had borrowed my parent's minivan for this trip. We normally drive small sedans. In front of us was Randy's minivan, a smaller car, and a large pickup truck. Behind us was another car.

As we caravaned up the mountain, it became clear that this was a one lane road. There were homes on the right and deep drop offs to the left, but no cabins. Still we followed. At last we pulled into a driveway in front of what really didn't look like a cabin. It looked more like somebody's house. Michael had his foot pressed hard on the brake, as we were sitting at a very awkward angle. The driver's side door of Randy's van opened and he got out. He stopped at the truck and then he started walking down the line of the cars, with a sheepish look on his face. As he came by my window, he stopped to tell us that we'd taken the wrong the road at the fork. I was afraid he'd tell us we had to back down the steep, windy road.

Very carefully he helped the car behind us back up and turn around. But they were much smaller than us. My heart was beating hard. This was my parent's van. Very slowly Michael released the brake. We felt the van backing almost immediately. He turned the wheel sharply and we eased, not so slowly, back onto the road. At Randy's signal, we Michael shifted from reverse to drive and barely made the turn back onto the road. With a huge sigh of relief we drove back down the mountain to wait for our turtle-topped leader by the building with the pool.

And that story would be funny, even if it ended it there. But it doesn't.

Because once we were all back down the mountain and lined up again, our caravan began a second ascent, looking for our cabin. Clearly this time we were headed toward cabins, though. We could see them and they looked nice! The view out the window was beautiful as we followed the other cars. Once again we came to a road choice. Left or Right. This time we went right. Around the bend and ....oh no....brake lights again. As we inched forward, I was able to see that a large truck was parked perpendicular across the road. There was no way to get through! What on earth?

Randy led the way, turning his van around. Each driver executed a 3 point turn and got back in line. When we came to the T in the road, where we'd gone right before, we went straight this time. After passing this amusing sign,
we made another sharp right turn, and finally, OUR cabin came into sight.

With a little creative parking, we were able to fit all five cars in the lot. As we spilled out of our cars, though, most of us were torn between tackling Randy and rushing up the steps to see the breathtaking view.

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