Two weeks ago, on a mountain highway deserted late at night with the next exit 40 miles ahead, I rounded a curve. In the middle of my lane — over a dozen small boulders. An oncoming car on the narrow two lane highway flashed headlights and my husband Alan was momentarily distracted trying to figure out the message. My grip tightened on the steering wheel as I stared straight at the message. Boulders. In the middle of the road. In the middle of nowhere as if from out of nowhere.
Try to stop in time by slamming on the brakes? Swerve? Risk losing control with the sheer rock wall of mountain side on my right and the cliff on my left?
I sized up the size of the rocks. None loomed large enough to crash into above tire level. So I . . . kept . . . driving. And driving. Until the car could go no farther. Did not get very far. But we survived. The car was totaled. And we survived.
The engine was smoking. My first reaction was to yell, “Get out of the car! Get out of the car! It might explode!” Alan calmly reached over and turned off the ignition.
Completely unscathed, we got out of the car to assess the damage. Two tires flat. The car sitting on rocks. A hole torn in the bottom of the car floor. Clearly, our rental car was going nowhere from here.
The other driver had stopped hundreds of yards away near just before the road curved. He got out to assess the damage to his car from the one rock he hit that was in his lane. His car was not disabled.Continue Reading