6/29/2008

Ruminations from The Road

These entries will be snippets and observations from the road trip I took with my brother last week. We covered 1600 miles, five states and every subject under the sun. I'll post these as long as I can remember them. Enjoy...

Entry Six
Every trip needs at least one scary moment, one (mis)adventure that can be embellished and exaggerated over time to mythical proportions. Outside of the hotel choices which cannot be considered for this category strictly because they were choices, Kyle and I’s big moment came a few miles outside of Amarillo, Texas the afternoon of our second day on the road. I was driving, admiring the gigantic wind turbines that stretch across the otherwise flat landscape of the panhandle of Texas when the northern sky started changing from light blue to purple. It seemed safely in the distance so we weren’t concerned, especially since the southern sky to our right was still clear and cloudless. That didn’t last long. The buildup was quick and it wasn’t long before we knew we were headed into a major storm. By the time the wind hit us and tried to push us off the road we were between exits and committed. Soon we started getting pelted by waves of rain and I felt like we had just entered the rinse cycle of a car wash. The visibility was measured in feet and I had to use all my aging faculties to keep us on the road. I could see the yellow line at the front left edge of the car so I used that as my north star. Then came the hail. It arrived in swells, leaving for a few minutes only to return and pound us some more. Our first thought was our own personal safety followed closely by, “What is this hail doing to the outside of this brand new car?” (Sorry dad, not once did either of us say, “Aw, hail!”.) I glanced over at Kyle and he was alternating between rubbing his temples and pinching the bridge of his nose. I guessed he was trying to push the visions from his brain of a brand new Cadillac DTS with a “golf ball” exterior but I’m not sure it was working. There was no place to pull over, no underpass under which to seek refuge; we were in it to the end but the end was slow in arriving.

Of course we eventually drove out of it. I have no idea how long the storm lasted. It felt like three days to us but it probably was no more than 30 minutes. When we were finally safely under blue skies again, we pulled off the interstate and bucked up our courage to look at the destruction. Miraculously the exterior was perfect, not a ding or bump. The only damage incurred was the plastic under-plate next to the front left wheel had been beaten to the point of breaking loose and was dragging on the ground. Kyle bought some plastic ties, cinched it up and we were back on our way. Granted, not an incredible, life-changing adventure but it will always be our adventure. Let the embellishing begin...

Maybe we should have seen it coming...

2 comments:

J. Brookins said...

And then...there was this twister. And it picked the caddy up and spun us around for a solid hour. When it vomited us out at last, we found that not only were we not dead, but we were miraculously still on the road and heading in the right direction.

And the only thing wrong with the caddy was a chicken that had been driven halfway through the license plate - back end first. But, as all the truckers we passed thought it was there on purpose, we left it.

Seriously.

Jaysephus said...

Excellent embellishment, sir. Unfortunately, it wasn't a chicken stuck in the license plate but large male goat. Other than that you had it about right...