Thursday, November 1, 2012

Embarrassing Story du Jour: Ice Cliff of Insanity


I think it's embarrassing story time. I'm kinda in a rut and haven't written anything that wasn't for a blog fest/hop for a while. In my “about me” section, (see tab above) I alluded to a stupid, ACCIDENTAL stunt, and now I'll come clean. I almost died peeing.

One of the most treacherous and frightening mountain passes in Colorado is called Berthoud Pass and connects I-70 (the main thoroughfare through the mountains, east to west) with the towns of Winter Park, Frasier, and on down the road on Colorado 40. It's a desolate place. There's one tiny town between I-70 and Winter Park, and it rolls up its sidewalks around 4:30 pm or so. So if you need to use the restroom, do it in Idaho Springs, and then consume nothing for the next two hours. This I've learned the hard way.

We are on one of our wonderful snowboarding trips with my Awesome Aunt Risky who has rented us a condo in Winter Park. Of course we have a late start on the trip up because the kids have to get off school and my Swissie has to finish work, so it's late and dark as we're making our way over the icy, snowy, did I mention DARK pass. I have to pee. I also know I have to hold it. But man, I've got to pee.

Finally, I ask my sister to pull into one of the slow traffic pull-offs. I know they have one foot stone walls to climb over, and then some semblance of privacy. After all, I have driven this road in daylight. Daylight is highly recommended. She pulls over. I climb over one foot wall. What I think is one foot wall. There's snow everywhere and the pull-off hasn't been plowed.  It's rather hard to see...

I soon discover that while I have indeed climbed over a one foot wall, it's on to a tall cliff, an ice cliff, long way down, boulders, creek, and ice at the bottom. I'm sliding. I manage to dig my fists into the wall (once you crack through the inch or so of really crusty snow, you can get a hand hold. And foot holds.) I figure if I'm going to slip and fall down the cliff and die in the creek, I don't want to do it after peeing my pants, so I manage to get my pants down (I think you can imagine how hard this is while hanging on for dear life, but bodily functions sometimes take precedence). I gratefully finish my business.

How to get back up though? Remembering the rock climbing lessons I've watched Aunt Risky teach the boys, I know you only let go of one hold at a time. So slowly, punching my bare hands into that frozen cliff, I slowly make my way up. But there's a lot of sliding down, too, and I'm terrified, pants still not quite on, and really starting to freak out.

God is on my side though, and crying and gasping for air (we're at 12,000 feet or so here) I manage to throw myself over the wall and into the pull-off. I'm soaked (in SNOW!)  having a good ole freakout fit of crying and screaming and trying to tell the story as I climb into the truck and she pulls away. At first she's laughing her ASS off, as you probably are too, but finally she realizes that I really was in danger, and gets eerily quiet. “Let's not tell the kids this one.” Fine by me...so I'd appreciate it if you didn't either    ;-)

13 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Oh crap! Yeah at that point, all you can do is pray and keep a level head.

D.G. Hudson said...

So the moral of the story is 'don't pee in the dark on a mountain pass', and if you do, bring a flashlight.

This was funny to read, but aren't all these incidents funny AFTER the fact, not during? You brightened my day with this post.

Probably a few of us could tell stories of 'potty emergencies' as 'Animaniacs' used to call them.
Glad you survived to tell the story!

Brian Miller said...

um i am not sure whether to laugh or cry....oh my...you know there have to be others that died while peeing....smiles.

Lauren said...

Oh, goodness... this made me giggle. I feel bad for laughing, but wow. :D

Annalisa Crawford said...

I'm so glad you stayed calm and was able to pull yourself back up. That must have been so scary. Your poor sister, too!

Jo said...

Glad your potty emergency ended up OK, next time just stay by the side of the road. Who cares if you are seen. You are not unique in that respect.

JoJo said...

OMG!!!!!! If that ever happens again, just go next to the car!!!

klahanie said...

Oh my, actually I'm keeping this posting a big secret. Well, not quite, I've told Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar, all about it.

Talk about dying for a ****....

Anyway, you are here to tell the tale.

Remember to maintain that positive focus and keep smiling! :)

In kindness, Gary

[Retro-Z] said...

Zoinks... at least you keep it interesting... no more big gulps!

Donna Cameron said...

Oh my goodness! Yes, those stories are funny after the fact...I have a few to tell as well. Glad you are still here! You just made my day!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. those stories are good after the event - sounds rather frightening .. the thing nightmares for days afterwards are made of ..

Well sure glad you survived ... crumbs not a good time - then your sister driving off before you'd got your bum on the seat ... I'm glad she realised at last!!

Cheers and have a quiet rest this weekend - and I won't tell the kids .. just send them over for tea won't you?! Hilary

Damyanti said...

I have had a similar experience, at much lower heights, and it scared/ scarred me for life!

The Desert Rocks said...

What a funny exciting story. I can't believe you were brave enough to share it!