Sun 28 Aug 05

And sometimes, for whatever reason, you just don’t feel like writing. Slipping… Truth be told, my free time spent in front of a computer has been dwindling this summer, no doubt correlating with the amount of sleep I’ve been getting the past two months. But that’s all done with now, so really I have no excuse now for not writing something about this past weekend. Especially given the dramatic car misadventure on Friday.

Friday morning Mary and I drove to Red Wing, MN for a friend’s wedding, deciding at the very last minute to throw the dogs in the back seat for the ten hour drive when we discovered the hotel we booked accepted pets. In my opinion this went surprisingly well. The dogs bounced about eagerly for the first hour or so before gradually coming to the realization that this trip with different than the ones just down the road. They wimpered for the next hour then gave up and tried to sleep comfortably in the limited space. I’m pretty sure (despite Trammell’s looking very car sick at times) that this was a better weekend then they would’ve spent stuck in a kennel. The dogs have now set foot in four new states and got their first peak at the mighty Mississippi (in the background of two pictures on the right).

Unfortunately, one of the states they set foot in was Wisconsin. In the pouring rain. With our car partially buried in a highway median and partially sticking its trunk into the path of oncoming traffic.

Just outside of La Crosse, WI, with the rain clouds opening up something fierce on our heads, I pulled into the left lane to try to get around a truck that was kicking up a vision-obscuring spray (in hindsight of course the obvious choice should have been to slow down behind said truck), accelerated, and promptly felt the front tires being sucked to the right. But not just your everyday mini-tug, solved by mini-correction. This time the whole car began to rotate clockwise, back tires, front tires, gliding effortlessly over a layer of rain water. I tapped the brakes and tried to ease the wheel back to the left, but I don’t think anything was going to save us at this point. Just a matter of which direction we we’re going to spin.

As it turns out, in about half a second we were pointing ninety degrees to the left. In another half second we completed our 360 degree spin (and then some) on the edge of the road while I vainly tried to counter the problem and were rocketing backwards across the grassy median. Brakes floored we slid across the two foot high grass only catching friction as we reached the berm on the opposite side and lurched to a stop perpendicular to the road with a good three feet of car sticking out into the road.

I tried to pull forward to get out of the path of oncoming traffic (with limited visibilty due to the continuing downpour) but found our front tires were buried in chunks of sod. Mary grabbed the dogs and ran across the highway. I dug our tires out then ran across after Mary, jumped a fence and started to call a tow truck when I saw a state trooper pull up behind our car. The guy turned out to be a complete jerk, never once asking us if we were okay, but maybe he was just upset about having to stand in the pouring rain rain in his shiny plastic rain coat.

In any case, with disgruntled cop standing watch, I tried pulling out again and this time was able to pull forward back across the median and back on our merry way. I guess we’ll find out the extent of the damages in a day or two here after the mechanics have a look, but for now it seems the only noticable problems are non-functioning taillights and turn signals. Weird.

One thought on “Sun 28 Aug 05

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