New Years & the Wrecks that Followed

1:01 PM

We made a last minute decision to head over the pass this weekend to join our friends and their Great Gatsby celebration to kick off the New Year. We had planned on traveling halfway to Bend to play in the snow on New Years anyway, so another hour over for a night to do all the fun things made sense to us. 

The party was so fun. 1920's fashion, the lights, the drinks..flapper dresses for the ladies, tuxes for the men.. and all the fun props. I wish I had dresses for the girls, (last minute!) irregardless, we all had fun! 

Pictures became grainy as the night went on.. and some just plain blurry - so bear with me. ;) Aria made it to 10:30pm, but Emi, that little party animal, took a series of catnaps and made it until 11:55pm.

I want to caption Seth "yeah.. see!" like an old 1920's mobster ;)

Up the next morning for coffee and to pack the car for some fun in the snow, we headed out as snow began to fall in Central Oregon. 

More and more snow fell and traffic slowed as we reached the Sno-park. We bundled up several layers deep and busted out the sleds. It wasn't long before the girls turned into little snow-monsters. Gloves + toddler + cold, melting snow = toddler meltdown. The guys got a final run in and we headed to the Lodge to warm up with some snacks and hot cocoa. 

We hit the road to head home. We've drove the pass dozens of time in the Winter, and felt like we've dealt with all the possible conditions, but that would soon proven wrong. 

Following an old F350 that was having a tough time, we hung back and took it extra slow. We came to a downgrade, single lane traffic when the F350 caught the snowbank and fishtailed, we attempted to brake, but caught the ice combined with gravity and found ourselves having to deal with an inevitable impact. Seth and his awesome driving skills did the best he could to minimize the impact & damage; I braced myself as we caught the snowbank to slow, from there the driver's side of our trailblazer hit the passenger side of their truck. Adrenaline was kicking in as I looked back to ensure that the cars behind us were able to stop. My worst fear was that we would be sandwiched. 

We exchanged information and caravanned with our friends for another 20 miles or so when we reached a point that traffic was coming to stop. Cars were sliding on their own accord and oncoming traffic was blocked by cars who took to the opposing snowbank. As we came to a stop we found ourselves involuntarily sliding to the left, downhill and into the oncoming lane, unable to stop. Seth made several attempts forward and to the right to get into the snowbank in our own lane, just so we could stop, but afraid we were going to hit our friends in front of us, we just went with it and slid,  Seth navigated to the only open space between two cars, bumping each just enough to exchange paint before we halted in the snowbank that was as high as the trailblazer is tall. 

I fell apart. How were we going to get home!? All I cared about was getting our girls home safely. I just wanted to be home. 

We were among at least 30 other cars & families, many of which were stuck.. both willingly to avoid a collision, and many against their will as the ice proved to be in control. 

With the help of some wonderful people who busted out shovels and chains and helped a Trooper push and navigate our car out of the snowbank, we were on our way again.

We made it home, so absolutely thankful that none of us were hurt. It could have been so much worse. We were mostly just shaken up, although tense & in shock. The next morning all I could do was cry thinking about how the accidents could have been so much worse. Our trailblazer, the car that we purchased just a month after we were married, and that has never been in an accident, has now been chewed up, but that can be fixed. It did it's job as an SUV in keeping the precious cargo, our sweet little girls, safe. 

With that, our New Years was interesting, and eventful. I hopeful for a quiet & mellow January. A new year brings new opportunities, a fresh start, a chance to reflect and an open door for so many amazing things to come. 

Here's to a wonderful new year to come! 


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