Sunday, May 23, 2010

My first Flowers (SNOW) on the Lake!

I think I am a pretty good driver. I have good reflexes, great depth perception and can spot a cop from a mile away. OK, the cop-spotting is debatable but nothing could have prepared me for the drive up to Lake Tahoe last Monday.

Joe and I watched the weather channel the night before and saw a chance for snow. Great! This is our first art quilt retreat,  Flower on the Lake,  hosted by Joe and I.

The last weeks have been a little stressful, with the retreat in jeopardy, not because of weather but because of low attendance.  I have been traveling TOO MUCH and missed the deadline to cancel, so the retreat was still a possibility. At the last minute, Joe made a deal with the conference grounds to let us come, even thought it was just 8 of us with 16 rooms booked.  In fact, as other groups had canceled, we would be the only people there.

So we made our way up the hill in a pouring rainstorm that turned into a snowstorm at  Kyburz (a small town on highway 50 that is essentially 3 buildings and boasts a sign reading Welcome to Kyburz and below it Now leaving Kyburz ).  My Tahoe is 4 wheel drive but I have never used it and don't even know how to use it.   Joe is in his turbo GTI with no chains.  He can go really fast, but where we are, in the weather there is, nobody is going fast. So he follows me into Tahoe.

I kept noticing that all the snowplows where going the other way.  At one point the frost built  up on my window so much, that I couldn't see. I had to lean over to the middle of the window to see the road. 
How are my girls going to get up here?  One is flying in from Canada and one is coming from Red Bluff.
So far this is looking like, as Will Ferrel said in Anchorman, a "Poor choice."  The snow is falling heavier and the wind is gusting as we arrive to check in.  The temperature is 28 degrees and dropping.

Two of my students have already made it here.  OK, I now officially have my first retreat.  We unload our cars and check out our lakeview rooms to see nothing but a snowy white blanket covering Lake Tahoe. This is not starting out so good.  I set up and started to worry about the other travelers. How are they going to make it up here?  I call Miss Canada, her airplane is delayed and she is stuck in San Francisco until midnight. I then start calling all the other campers to tell them about the snowstorm.  Too late. They are already in it somewhere on a snowy road. I say a little prayer.  Then the door blows open with a bang and in walks Deb.  I can see that she is smiling, which is good,  I think.  She starts to tell her horror story of white out conditions and not being able to see the road.   I start to freak out.  She almost went off the road and had no idea how she got here,  her visibility was near zero the whole way.  At one time she screamed "Jesus, take the wheel!" just like the song. If the song was screamed.  Very loudly. She just happened to put her chains in her car at the last minute.

Its now 5pm and the girls were to be here at 3pm. The door opens and in walk 2 more snow bunnies laughing and letting out a sigh of relief.  They tell about their scary trip with their noses pushed up against the window, like two far sighted little old ladies because they can't see a thing.  We were in hysterics by now. Now we are just waiting for miss Red Bluff.  I call her cell,  she picks up the phone, and before I can get a word in I hear her say, in a loud voice, "I Don't Do Snow! " Me neither, I say.  She says she'll see us the next morning. Sounds good to me.

So the six of us look out the windows to see nothing, and I mean nothing, but white.  The snow storm has turned into a blizzard. Great.  Joe is on the road somewhere trying to make it down the hill in a sports car that is meant for anything but what he is currently in. Then the door opens again and it's snowy Joe. Thank God!
He was turned back and now wants my SUV to try again to get home. Great! now I am stuck in the snow with a car I can barely get in and out of.

So here we are, stuck in a snowstorm, can't go anywhere.  We are sitting in a beautiful, warm room with a lot of fabrics and sewing machines.  Aaaahhhhhh  There is no better way to spend a stormy day than to be surrounded by fabric, sewing machines and chocolate.

I can't wait for next year!   Picture taken by Jacque Moore.

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