The 4,000 Foot Fall!
When I was just a kid about eight or nine years old we took a trip up to Shaver Lake, California.
The Lake was awesome, but at that time there was only one road up to the lake called "Tollhouse Road".
I had always read the name as a warning because the road was so narrow, winding, steep, and it seemed that we were always hearing about someone's car going off the cliff. (Road) I believe in some spots the drop was well over 4,00 feet down. I remember each time going up was very scary looking down the cliff from the edge of the road as we made those hairpin turns, but heading back down was more terrifying. On one such occasion my step dad road his motorcycle with his friends and the rest of the family went in cars.
We arrived safely to the Lake from home, played all day, swimming, fishing, hiking, jumping from big boulder rocks into the water and flirting with the girls, but the trip home was going to be a bit frightful.
As we headed down the hill in our car, exhausted I laid my head back to sleep. Dosing as children do when knowing and trusting in their parents to deliver them safely home without a care in the world. I was awaken with a jerk by a screaming step sister and two step brothers. Quickly it became clear to me that we were going to die. My mother was driving the car down that windy, narrow, and steep road when the car's motor died. This specific car had power assist steering and power assist brakes. So when the car dies so does all control! One second my mother is driving wonderfully, and in another she has no control! No Brakes! No Steering! And a car full of her step children screaming and crying scared almost to death. Until that day I had never seen my mother that filled with fear. She was terrified beyond measure. She pulled as hard as she could on the steering wheel only to budge it slightly in one way or the other, while pressing with all her might on the brakes to no avail! Over and over we rounded turns as the car hung to the winding road and was picking up speed. My mom was trying to calm everyone down, but I could see the terror in her eyes as the cliffs got closer and closer with every turn. The car sped up with every turn as well.
In that hopeless moment of terror, --- God intervened!
In a micro second my mother had a clear head as we rounded a corner, and in an instant she spotted a rain water run off ditch next to the mountain and it set into the mountain about four or five feet. With every ounce of her being she grabbed that steering wheel and gave one last try. To much to fast and we would hit the mountain to early, or to slow and we bounce/ ricochet off the mountain, off the cliff thousands of feet to our death.
She jerk that wheel and hit that ditch perfectly. The car crashed into the mountain and fell into that tiny gutter of a ditch plunging the car into it and bring it to an abrupt stop laying tilted down to the right leaving the driver side up in the air. Kids screaming and crying, terrified beyond measure. Horrified by the eminent likelihood of falling to our death, but God gave my mother a clear mind, a plan, and the strength to turn that wheel. Amen, and Thank You Lord!
God handed us all back our lives that day! If not for that micro second of clarity and strength we would not be here. We would have suffered as so many had, paying a great "Toll" on Tollhouse Road!