The gorge that ran the length of the road was as beautiful as it was dangerous. The rocks were carved out from the millions of gallons of water running over them for thousands of years. Looking over the edge was about all you could do. The embankment was very steep and treacherous. Only a skilled climber would be able to scale it.
There had been accidents in the past from locals that lived in the town below to skilled hikers that tried going down. Only the wild inhabitants were able to go up or down these embankments as they pleased.
Josiah always drove right on the edge to look at the gorge. On one occasion Ellie had road into town with him. He was driving close to the edge as usual frightening her. She told him to move over to the middle of the road or pull over to let her drive. He just laughed at her doing as she said moving over to the middle telling her she was a scardy cat. She might be she told him but she’d live to see another day.
Josiah makes it safely down the mountain into town.
“I’ve got my cell if anything was to happen. I have a window of signal through part of the way up the mountain to the middle, but after that nothing,” Josiah tells Earl the owner of the local supply store.
He had come into town to get things needed in the chance of getting snowed in.
“All I have is a flashlight. I’m not even sure if it has any batteries.”
“Alright then we need to load you up with a couple of things. These storms sometimes can last a long time being very unforgiving.”
Heading back up the mountain Josiah looks over in the seat at his emergency supplies that Earl had insisting on giving him. There was a flashlight that was four times the size of the one he had an extra battery for it, two gallons of water, a radio with batteries in it with an extra pack. Then he had two thick horse blankets, some beef jerky and a couple of other things for just in case.
The heater in the old truck wasn’t putting anything out now. The windshield was fogging up from his body heat on the inside. On the outside he could tell it was already trying to freeze up.
He was getting worried because he wasn’t but just a little over half way up the mountain. He stops the truck.
Looking in the dash box feeling with his hand then actually looking in he can’t find a windshield scraper. “I just wonder if Earl thought about me needing a scraper.” Shutting the dash box he looks in the seat searching through the tote bag of supplies.
Low and behold there was one, a brand new windshield scraper, the kind that has a fuzzy mitt on the end of the handle so your hand won’t get wet or cold.
Getting out he shuts the door not getting it shut. “Dang old truck,” he mutters opening it again then slamming it making sure it was.
Working his way from side to side he scrapes the icy snow off the windshield.
Getting back in the truck it was a lot warmer it seemed than before.
“Good thing I put thermal underwear on under these bib coveralls,” he mutters to himself seeing his breath swirling around in the cab of the truck.
He wasn’t cold at the moment but if he was to get stuck out in this weather he would need to be bundled up.
Putting the truck into gear he starts up the dirt road again. The wind was getting worse. The truck was getting harder to handle. The wind whipping around it from both sides made it rock side to side. Slowing down to almost a crawl it was a little easier to manage but not completely.
The snow was getting thicker and harder to see through by the minute. His headlights were so dim even on bright he couldn’t see more than ten to fifteen feet in front of him. It was completely dark outside with no lights but his.
Josiah stopped for a minute putting on his seat belt. Back when this old truck had been new there were no seat belt laws like they are today. The truck had only lap belts.
Taking off once again he slid a little on what he figured was a patch of ice.
Guessing he was about three quarters of the way home he breathes a small sigh of relief.
“Better not get to anxious though I’m not there yet,” saying it out loud as if it sunk in better if he heard it.
Josiah knew he needed to pay close attention to the ice that was accumulating on the road. But he couldn’t help but think about how nice it would be if he was in Mexico laying on a beach in Los Cabos where it would be a nice toasty 80 some degrees. Instead he was driving up this treacherous mountain in sub-zero degree weather.
About that time he feels the truck sliding, He realizes as he’s going towards the edge of the road he isn’t gaining control of the truck. He knows there’s nothing he can do at this point but let off the brake some letting it go where it was going to on its own.
Seeing the edge getting closer Josiah braces his self, preparing to go over the edge. He says a prayer thanking God for all he had gave him and done for him in his life. When his prayer was finished he could see over the steep embankment.
There was nothing between his truck and the deep ravine below, nothing that might catch a wheel or axle to keep him from careening to the bottom.
He realizes that this was it. He was about to go over the edge. The truck tilted as one of the tires had already slid off the road past the edge into the air.
Then the truck stops. It stops as if it had hit something and that something wasn’t letting it go any further.
Josiah was flooded with a feeling of relief. He didn’t know whether to move or not. Thinking that if he tried to get out of the truck the movement might cause whatever was holding the truck to become lose.
He sits there for what seems an eternity but actually was only a few minutes. After Josiah finally thinks the truck isn’t going anywhere he slides to the right towards the passenger door. Doing this very slowly he doesn’t even want to breathe in fear of making the truck move. As he gets close to the door he’s pushing his emergency supplies with him. He reaches for the door handle and the truck tilts back towards the road sitting back down on three wheels.
He gets a hold of the door handle opening the door slowly pushing the supplies out on the ground as he slides out the door.
Josiah sits down just a few feet from the truck letting his nerves calm.
He has his supplies at least he thinks to himself as he picks up the tote.
Josiah knows that he doesn’t have that far to walk to get back home and has a good flashlight to see with through the blinding snow.
Grabbing the flashlight out of the tote he turns it on trying to see what caused the truck to stop.
With the snow blowing around whipping through the wind so thick he can’t see a thing.
“Oh well,” he thinks, “I can see later when I come back for the truck.”
Making it back home Josiah walks in the door going straight to the woodstove. He was bundled up but no amount of clothes would have been enough for the cold he had just come out of.
Ellie hears him come in and within seconds is asking what had happened.
He tells her everything.
The next morning they go out on the tractor to pull his truck home. When they get to the truck they can’t believe their eyes.
It seemed that a deer had jumped off the embankment on the other side of the road and had slid on the ice up under his truck right at the moment he was fixing to go over the edge.
There it was lodged up under the back tire holding the truck in place.
They stood there just looking at the miracle that had saved Josiah’s life.
He tells Ellie about the small quick prayer he had said right before the truck stopped sliding. He tells her that he thanked God for his life instead of asking for Him to spare it.
They both realize that Josiah had his guardian angel with him that night.
My Every Morning Ritual
Most mornings I sit on my back porch with my much needed large cup of coffee watching the landscape wake up from it’s dark state of nocturnal activities. I can hear the bell ringing on a lead goat down the hollar a ways, as he leads his herd of followers out into the new morning light to graze on the new fresh spring sprouts shooting up through the just recently thawed ground.. The birds are chirping as a new day begins reminding other fowl that is their territory, to stay out.
I light up my first cigarette savoring that first relief of nicotine, and no matter how many more you smoke that day you will not get that same feeling again until you wake up the next morning and do it all over again.
I live up at the farther end of the hollar on a slope. Behind my place on the other side of the hollar is a neighbor with a beautiful pond that has an Artesian well just above it, supplying it with fresh cold spring water continuously. It is so soothing and relaxing hearing the flow splashing into the pond in the morning. There is no better way to start the day, I’ll not do it any other way again after given this chance to enjoy the tranquility.
Just last week the trees were blooming their majestic beauty with all their different colored blooms and fragrances. Decorating the pond like a parade of Mother Nature, but now the flowers have faded fast thanks to Jack Frost who still comes to these parts even in May sometimes. The leaves are filling out and it’s getting harder to see the pond from the porch more and more everyday. The weeping willow tree has filled out so much since we moved here 4 years ago, it’s branches cascading down to the ground as if in morning. Even though we cleared off most off our property to see the pond, I enjoy more listening to the waterfall coming from the Artesian well.
I can sit here endlessly. But eventually I have to get up, go back into the house and do something productive. Thinking about getting up makes me light just one more stogy. What the heck, we only live once might as well enjoy it while I can.
NC Smokey Mts, Pisgah National Forest, Brown Mountain
Here’s some local Festivals coming up:
May 7, 2016 – NC Butterfly Festival – https://www.facebook.com/events/597144963773781/
May 13-15, 2016 – Daniel Boone Festival – https://www.facebook.com/events/1554819938145385/
July 8, 2016 – NC Blackberry Festival – https://www.facebook.com/events/949449965162149/
Here I will be posting images of ideas I might try and beautiful landscape pics I see, I love sharing God’s beauty. So be sure and come back often or follow my blog to check out some of our beautiful landscape here in North Carolina!
Y’all come back now!