Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Allow me to elaborate...Part 1

I call this one: Now Entering Dante's Inner Circle of Hell

My parents (okay, my mom) decided that this year it would make more sense if they came out here for Christmas than it would to fly all the single Dickersons home and try to accommodate the married Dickersons as well. Especially since the newest married-in member of the family only got Christmas day off from work and therefore couldn't really go anywhere. Rather than doom Megan to spending her first married Christmas alone in her closet...I mean mom rented a cabin in Island Park, Idaho. The thought was that Megan could spend the week at the cabin with the rest of the family and her husband could drive up in the evenings after work and for Christmas day and over the weekend. Bryce and I would only have to lug our kids/presents/accoutrements on a 5 hour car ride instead of an 8 hour (minimum ) air trip. Kyle and Mollie could just ride up from Provo as well. And Michael, Mom, Dad, and Evan would all just fly in to Salt Lake and then make the drive. The cabin was advertised as being relatively close to Yellowstone so we had high hopes of touring the park in a snow coach and letting the more adventurous Dickersons (i.e. those only related by marriage) rent snow mobiles.

Sounds like a plan.

The plan took a downhill turn when they predicted a major snowstorm for Monday the 22nd--the day we were supposed to drive up and check in to the cabin. My kind Aunt Karen, who lives in Pocatello, heard the weather report and called my mom to invite us to stay at her house overnight if we wanted to drive up early to avoid the storm. Being the cautious people that we are, we decided that was the best idea. The only problem being that Evan wasn't scheduled to arrive in Salt Lake until Sunday afternoon and Michael wasn't arriving until Monday night. Michael was supposed to get a rental car and drive himself up from Salt Lake anyways, so we planned for him to be on his own, but figured a major snow storm might make his drive more interesting. We also didn't have enough 4 wheel drive vehicles to get all of our stuff up to the cabin. (Picture mounds of clothing, snow clothes, presents for siblings, presents from Mom and Dad, and a healthy dose of presents from Santa, along with lots of food, and Christmas decorations to turn the cabin into something holiday-like.) The idea was proposed that we could put our truck back on the insurance and Bryce would stay behind to pick up Evan and then they would drive up all the stuff in the truck. (Our truck wasn't insured because it has been sitting in the driveway for months while we tried to sell it.) Bryce called the insurance and after explaining the situation, the representative proposed a 2 week policy to cover the truck while we used it over the holidays. Sounds good right?

We packed up and left for Pocatello at about 1 on Sunday, taking our Escape and my parents' Subaru. Meanwhile, we discovered that Evan still hadn't left Hartford. In fact, he sat on the runway in Hartford the entire time we were driving to Pocatello. They sat for 4.5 hours before they took off for the 3+ hour flight. We got into a little snow, but the drive was uneventful and we arrived at my Aunt's house in time to eat the dinner she'd made for us. My Mom called to figure out what would happen to Evan since his connecting flight would have left long before he arrived in Dallas, and the airline assured her that he had been rebooked on the last flight out for the night. Unfortunately, no one mentioned it to Evan and his flight finally arrived in Dallas an hour after the aforementioned "last flight out for the night" had left. So Evan got to spend the night in Dallas at his own expense. The shuttles stopped running at 10 p.m. so he even got to pay his own cab fare to get to the hotel. The next flight to Salt Lake wasn't until noon the next day so now he was scheduled to arrive right in the middle of the snow storm we had tried so hard to avoid.

It had started lightly snowing when we went to bed in Pocatello, so we were rather surprised when we woke up to a foot of snow. Mom and I went grocery shopping and then we headed for Island about 30 miles an hour. There was no way we were going to fit everything into the Subaru so my parents ended up borrowing my Aunt's Suburban. (Yup, we're shameless moochers.) We finally arrived at the cabin and discovered that they already had about 1.5 feet of snow. Evan got to Salt Lake at about 2 and Bryce headed up with the truck to get him. The plan was to pick up Evan and make their way to the cabin before they got totally snowed-out. We changed the plan when we saw that the roads to the cabin were already terrible so we called Evan and Bryce and told them to plan on hunkering down at Aunt Karen's for the night. (My poor Aunt Karen.) Evan and Bryce complained that so far the roads were fine, but we assured them they were about to get worse and made sure they planned to stop in Pocatello. About half an hour later we got the call that Bryce and Evan had wrecked about 10 minutes south of the exit they were supposed to take to get to my Aunt's house. Close, but no cigar. They hit black ice and spun around and ended up with the truck on its side down the ravine that was the center median. Basically the Grinch's sleigh got dumped down the top of Mt. Crumpit. To add insult to injury the police officer cited Bryce for driving too fast for conditions because he went off the road, so ipso facto, he was driving too fast. Even though the guy right behind him said Bryce wasn't going faster than anyone else and didn't do anything to cause the wreck. Evan and Bryce gathered up all the presents from the snow and got towed to my Aunt's house where they unloaded everything before the truck got towed to the wreck yard.

Meanwhile, back at the cabin, all we knew was that Bryce and Evan had wrecked but were okay. We were waiting for more info from them when Sawyer (who had been out of sight for approximately 10 seconds) walked into the kitchen holding a box of rat poison. He was also happily chewing on something which we determined was rat poison after fishing it out of his mouth. The box, of course, warns that ingestion can cause SERIOUS HARM OR DEATH so I called poison control from my cell phone only to be put on hold for over 5 minutes. The lovely recording kept telling me that if this could be a life-threatening situation I should push pound. After refraining for about 3 minutes since Sawyer appeared fine albeit unhappy that we took his treat away, I gave up and started pushing pound. Still no answer. Finally my sister called from her phone and was immediately connected to Connecticut poison control. So new info of the day: even though you call the same number, if you call from a Connecticut phone you get sent to Connecticut poison control who answers very promptly whereas if you call from a Utah phone you might as well give up now because they don't answer on evenings preceding holidays. The nice lady informed me that as long as he was otherwise healthy, it was not a concern that Sawyer ate a little bit of (that particular type of) rat poison, and that they would only be concerned if he had eaten 4-6 teaspoons of it. So the box was rather alarmist in my opinion. But if you are somehow reading this because you googled "my child ate rat poison" for heaven's sakes, call your own Poison Control woman and don't rely on this! I accept no liability if you don't get your child the help he/she needs based on this blog post. Legal disclaimer finished.

Michael flew in to Salt Lake that night and paid an exorbitant amount to rent a vehicle with 4 wheel drive. He started to head up to Idaho, but after hearing about the wreck and several calls from Mom and Dad he gave up and got a hotel room in Tremonton for the night. The next day he drove up to Pocatello and met up with everyone at Aunt Karen's house. Mom and Dad decided that they better go retrieve the survivees so they drove to Pocatello and loaded the Suburban with all the stuff from the truck and then they drove back to the cabin along with Michael in his rental car.

So after starting out on Sunday, everyone eventually arrived at the cabin on Tuesday. And it snowed. And it snowed. And it snowed, snowed, snowed, snowed.

{Pictures to follow when I find my card reader...since inserting my SD card directly into my computer promptly results in a blue screen of death}

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