Well.......... Most of you that KNOW me, know that I sometimes do dumb things.... very rarely, but it has been known to happen....... Well, the other day I may have come close to that... it's still in question. Anyway, it was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and we had not had but a little snow here in Kalispell. Nothing was on the roads and just some spots in heavy grass in the neighboring fields, so we decided to go for a drive...... Nothing unusual, just a drive in the country. We noticed the hoarfrost (frost on steroids) up in the mountains and thought it would be good to get a couple of photos of it.
Heading up the mountains, we noticed on the map that the road simply went up and over a mountain and into a valley on the other side and back to US-2 and to Kalispell. Simple! Nice drive and some good hoarfrost photos. As we climbed in elevation, we noticed the roads were snow covered and packed into ice.
Things started to become a little, not much, but a little confusing as a number of roads turned off the the road we were on, and at times we could not tell which road was the one we were on, hummmmm. But, anyway, we got up into the mountains and the hoarfrost was awesome.
So Debbie got out the Garmin and input a small town on US-2 that we thought we would be going through. So, following the Garmin, we noticed as we got higher and higher into the mountains, the road became two ice-packed ruts in deep snow! Our Prius was beginning to drag the snow down the center of the road, NOT GOOD! Watching my driving closely, Debbie says, "Joe, don't look now but we are no longer on the road"! Slight cause for concern...... A Prius with worn tires on Forest Logging roads that go for miles and just end! Beginning to be a bit more concerned, we found a place we could stop, one of the few level places in the whole mountain range, and were able to turn around. Did I say the road was now a single lane, of just two icy ruts? Having no idea if we could get back to the main road (I use 'main road' very loosely here) or not began to raise the 'concern' level to close to Panic, but of course, we kept our cool!!! It was a little disconcerting that we did not have warm clothes, food or water with us and were more than 10 miles from the nearest human....... As we were trying to get back to the 'main road' Debbie noticed where we left the road the Garmin was following. Later we talked to a 'local' as we were going down the mountain and he told us that road had been closed by the Forest Service many years ago! Thanks, Garmin!!! Anyway, by the Grace of God, we were able to make it back to the 'main road' and continued slowly down the mountain. The 'local' that I mentioned earlier gave us directions to get on down to civilization. We were on the 'other'side of the mountain than we had anticipated and we were one and a half hours drive on good highways back to Kalispell. AMEN! But, anyway, we did get a few photos! The part that was disappointing to us was that it was beautiful up on the Forest Service roads and we were far too un-nerved (to say the least) to get our cameras out. When we got home, Debbie had to take a screwdriver and pry my hands off the steering wheel.