It started as a very windy night, very windy. It was not expected, at least in my weather research. And it was uncertain how long it would last.
Sunday evening, we headed to Skyland, a wonderful stop on the mid-northern section of Skyline Drive, the wonderful, picturesque 100+ miles through the Shenandoah National Park. Perfect cool spring weather. Mountain Laurels blooming (though most trees still barren) … with silence only broken by birds and trees crackling.
Burying ourselves under the blankets early, we got to sleep quickly. By morning, the cold had arrived. A weird Norther was piercing much of the country and Skyland was just on the ridge of the front. By breakfast. Snow was descending. Roads and sidewalks were icing. And people were talking how this caught us all off guard. We expected possible rain … but icy snow?
I was ready. Mostly. I was in my new (albeit a 2007) FJ Cruiser. 4WD Lo to get up and out of the icy parking lot. And a slow 4WD drive south on the Skyline Drive. My only kryptonite … gas. I was below a half … which in FJ terms, find a gas station. One gas station on the Drive … Big Meadows. Pay at the pump, open yer round.
Six miles, 40 minutes later. I pulled in to a lone lot with no one around. Ice pelting me. Hands freezing. It wouldn’t pump. I tried four times. I assumed no regular gas. Twice with medium. Same result. I was pondering the (which was a good 25 miles in slow moving snow storm).
But premium worked … $4.90 gallon … not the most I’ve paid.
With gas in the tank, and a calmness in my mind, I got back on Skyline and headed south. Besides the one wrong turn (into a camp ground for I truly couldn’t see to tell which way the road forked) I made it.
Three stops to clear the ice off the windshield wiper. Two sudden awareness slow downs when deer pranced across the road. And three slips on icy conditions. The FJ was a GOAT and I am glad I bought it.
It wasn’t the anniversary get away I desired. I wanted to do a short hike. Though snow doesn’t normally stop me, Lisa slipped once and we were ill dressed. But I saw this as kind of the way marriage, and life inn general, is …
Unexpected storms. Facing weather together. Getting through it with proper prep and gear (in life that means knowing the One who put us here, loves us, provides for us, and protects us.
Don’t try to get through life, or a marriage, without the One who provides, protects, and is ever-present.
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