Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Kingdom- a Road Trip

We lived 6 miles off the blacktop, a rural mind field of a dirt road that separated us from the rest of civilization. And I had to get to town!! I had to!! There was last minute shopping to do!! It was the week before Xmas and the driveway was a mess. My boys and I piled into the car and one was designated to direct traffic on the main road as we blasted, sideways, out onto the snow covered ice-laden uphill dirt road climb. Visions of being safely downtown pounding in our head, we careen, tires grasping for purchase on the steep climb. Halfway to the top the realization sets in that we’re not going to make it. I slam on the brakes and watch the front end swing around so we are at least facing forward as we begin our slide down the 45 degree slope completely, utterly, comically out of control. Confidently I survey the snow banks on each side hoping, that when, not if, I should slide off to one side or the other the shoveling would be in the 15 minute to half hour range. I had planned for that much of a delay—you have to do this – it’s all part of the Northeast Kingdom Travel Package.

 I had more than enough equipment and extra clothing in the trunk of the car to establish a homestead in 40 of the 48 continental states. In the Kingdom you pack the car for the trip to town-anything could happen-it’s the Kingdom, for Christ-sake.

Miraculously we fishtail to the bottom clinging to the surface of the road and each other. It all happens in about 2 minutes yet we feel as if we have returned from the brink, once again. The feeling of relief and pure elation is tempered by our hysteric self-conscience laughter. The Hill climb abandoned we head south, the long way to town, creeping around the guardrail-less sloped curves to W. Barnet and beyond. It’s the Kingdom—you adapt—not a word has been spoken—we have all been there before—Winter in the Kingdom.