Fear On The Road
You’ve heard of being weak in the knees from fear. Try having “jello” legs while driving over and around mountains headed to Santa Cruz, CA on Highway 17. Add a fast approaching thick dark fog, oily rain, and deer blood spotted roads to the fear of driving winding, curvy, sharp 60 to 90 degree turns. That’s what I experienced this weekend on the way to Santa Cruz.
The drive started out on a partial sunny day with my daughter driving along the winding, steep hills. The hotel manager in San Jose gave directions with her bubbly attitude that sounded very simple and definitely easy to follow.
“It’ll only take you 35 to 40 minutes to drive 880 south to 17 south, following the signs, and then a right exit to Santa Cruz.” She said.
We were from the midwest and could only envision flat land and straight roads. It sounded very simple to go 880-S to 17-S to see the closest beaches to San Jose which were in Santa Cruz.
We began our trip with a few thrills from a roller coaster road which caused a lot of tension and stress while gripping the steering wheel. After arriving in Santa Cruz safely, we pulled into a service station to fill the gas tank. Immediately, it began raining what appeared on the windshield as oily rain very difficult for windshield wipers to provide clear vision. The dark clouds which were far in the distance earlier advanced quickly and turned the partial sunny day into a mysterious night.
Wireless Connection At No Charge
We decided to go back to San Jose rather than visit the beaches in the rain. With one eye contact lens and prayer, the thriller ride began. The road was filled with roller coaster turns in the pitch dark rainy night. Yellow directional signs with a truck going down a steep hill heightened my fear of one losing control and ramming me in the rear. My legs became very tense and weak as fear turned them into “jello.” I felt no grip on the road and out of control as I drove 35 miles in the rain up and down steep turns. I called, “JESUS,” without the use of a cell phone. It was a supreme wireless connection at no charge.
My heart was beating with the drum beat on the radio. I began to practice my breathing like a pregnant woman in labor to keep from screaming. The one contact lens began to dry from my eyes causing me to work hard at not blinking for fear of hitting the median while steering through a sharp turn and reading yellow signs and green directional signs with the glare of oncoming cars' high beam lights reflecting brightly against the fog and blinding my view. The gas pedal was useless on the steep down hill road and felt just as useless up mountains as the high elevation caused my earns to pop and legs to buckle.
The tingly feeling of my “jello legs” and constant communication for guidance from the "Man" above helped me to press on through the dark night until I finally came to a stop light in San Jose. I regained the normal flow of blood and mobility of my legs.
I learned from this trip that someone else took control and brought us back safely, and vowed never to assume simple directions in an area where mountains “ roam” should be taken lightly. Also, night time is not the right time to go sightseeing.
I will go back to sightsee in the daytime along the winding steep road to Santa Cruz the next time I’m in San Jose. Daytime driving will have less affect on my “jello” legs.