Friday, December 29, 2006

it was probably the lucky gnome

Our trip back from Kansas was both better and worse than our trip out. We started hearing the forecasts of another winter storm, and fearing a slow drive like the one we experienced on our way out, we left Kansas a little earlier than planned. Instead of making two day drives like we did on the way out (and which I hope to never do again) we planned to drive all night on Wednesday. We left Kansas just after dinner and planned to arrive home in Orem by 11am on Thursday. Traveling west on I-70 Wednesday night was uneventful. We had dry roads and clear skies all the way until we reached Denver. I wasn’t the driver at that point, but I did wake up long enough to see the still snow-packed city. The sky remained clear, luckily, until somewhere just west of Rawlins.

I was just cruising along at my favorite freeway speed (about 80 mph) when I started to notice that all the semi-trucks were traveling at speeds closer to 30 mph and had their hazard lights on. “What do they know about this road that I don’t know?” I wondered. It was when I watched the truck in front of me spin off the road and down the divider ditch that I realized that perhaps I was driving too fast for road conditions. Dang those icy Wyoming roads! I slowed down considerably, and after traveling only 100 miles in 2 ½ hours I had had enough. The fact that it was 7 am, still dark, and I’d been driving for 3 hours didn’t help. I pulled over into a gas station and we slept until the sun came up at about 7:30 a.m.

Somebody took the next driving shift and I drifted into a light sleep. I woke about half and hour later to our car spinning around on the road. First we spun to the right, then to the left, then again to the right, this time veering off the road enough to slam into a pole along the side of the road. The impact knocked us back to the left, and then we finished with a spin to the right and ended up completely off the road. I jumped out to check the damage and at first didn’t notice any. How lucky* were we? But then Somebody got out and showed me the dents in both doors and that the handle on the passenger door was mostly missing. But the car was facing the road, so I got in and laid on the gas while Somebody pushed, and we were shortly back on the road. It wasn’t until later that I thought that I should have taken a picture of our path through the snow. How lucky were we, though, that we spun off the road at 80 mph and didn’t flip, didn’t end up in a ditch, and were able to push our car right back on and continue our trip? Lucky that neither of us were injured at all. Lucky we left when we did, because the Interstate between Kansas and Colorado closed again yesterday and today. Lucky. We are lucky people. So we can’t use the doors** on the passenger side of the car. So what? Are those doors really necessary? Not for lucky people like us, they’re not.

*And by "lucky" I of course mean blessed. Watched over. Cared for. Blessed beyond all comprehension.

**I know, the damage looks freakishly minor. But truly, that back door won't open at all. I think the damage at the bottom of the car there is actually bent up and over the door, preventing movement.

1 comment:

Kristina said...

Ooo.. I hate bad weather driving.

When I was eight, we were driving back to SLC from Provo (where my grandparent's lived) on Christmas Eve, and a HUGE (because everything's huge when you're a little kid) semi truck slid on the ice skating rink we call I-15 and slide-swiped out van. Then while we were on the side of the road waiting for UHP, another car spun out of control and bounced between the cement barriers on both sides of the freeway and ended up--SMACK! Right in the back of our van. Good times. Good times. :)

It was fun meeting you last night, BTW. I had to check out the blog for references to your "dump" party, which sounded fabulous!