Saturday, January 05, 2008
Nerves of Steel
What a knitters would do for a day of knitting retreat .... The South Bay Knitters' annual retreat this weekend in Ben Lomond was challenged by three heavy storms in four days, causing many downed trees, closed roads, and major power outages in the mountains. Ben Lomond received 10 inches of rain. Some of us turned around, some of us had to spend last night off site and make it in during the day light. I could have turned around this morning when we detoured in Scotts Valley; I could have turned around when we followed another knitter looking for the alternate route up to the Quaker Center; I could have parked the car at the market and hiked up the remaining couple of miles of steep hills (and not worry about the passengers); I could have taken everyone and left before dinner so we'd get back to civilization before dark; I could have made everyone stay at the center for the night. Today I drove three other knitters under a downed redwood tree with less than a foot clearing above my car, in the dark. It's a scene we've only seen in movies. I drove under power lines sparkling above the highway. I drove my friends through the back roads in the redwood forests, with mountain on one side and cliff on the other, in pitch blackness except for the headlights of my own car. The roads are slippery, littered with tree branches. The slopes are steep, some places at 45 degrees. Shudder at the margin of error. This is the kind of place when people get lost you'd hear on national news because they can't find their way out for days. At times we seriously considered whether we have enough food and water in the car. Thanking my lucky stars the retreat center sent car to lead my way out. Thanking my friends watching out for me, and cheering me on. It was a great day of knitting and bonding with my knitter friends.