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ruthless compassion
17 March 2004 @ 07:47 pm
The drive from Maine to Niagara Falls was far more eventful than we had planned, thanks to the major snowstorm that sprang up in our path.

We did fine from Portland to Williamstown, where we stopped for lunch. We figured we'd grab onto 90 in Albany and be on a major road for when the weather got icky. Nice plan, but...

After lunch, the snow was starting to come down pretty good, and leaving W'town, there's a pass to get into NY. Coming down the NY side of it, creeping pretty slowly, but, not slowly enough, we got caught in the skidmarks of the previous car and lost all traction on a wide curve. In that slow-motion scariness, I didn't respond right by steering into the skid, even though I thought about doing so, because if I had done that and managed to get traction, we would have ended up smack dab ON the car that had gone off the road before us. Instead, I hoped that we would manage to curve past it, which we did, missing it by what felt like mere inches but was probably a foot or two, and instead we crashed passenger side into a guard rail.

An attempt to drive us out of the ditch didn't work, the fellow in the other car came and asked how we were. We climbed out and assessed: mostly fine, if shaken. OnStar didn't have coverage, nor did either of our phones. Joel, the other accidentee, had talked to the plow guys when he went off, and they promised to talk to the sheriff, but that was 45 minutes ago. Much waiting ensued, including lots of nice people stopping to check on us, but none with tow trucks, sadly. About an hour and a half later, the tow truck showed up and got us out of the ditch. The car appeared driveable and we hoped to get to Niagara for the night, still, so we continued on.

I feel really dumb, because I grew up driving in snowy conditions and I should know better. I was going slowly, but obviously not slowly enough. And it feels bad to crash a friend's nice car, too. It definitely could have been worse, I know: no one was hurt, the car is still driveable, I didn't hit anyone else, but still. I couldn't just clip the side-view mirror and be done with it. Hmph.

Traffic sucked as soon as we got over the Hudson, and pretty much all the rest of the way, not to mention, of course, the crappy conditions. We had another close call getting off 90 in Buffalo, when the car was lifted off its wheels by a huge bank of plowed snow that was in the middle of the road. Good handling from razil and some luck in terms of who was near us got us out of that one with only a huge adrenaline rush.

We finally pulled into the Marriott just before 1am, took time to decompress, and then slept slept slept.

Niagara Falls was pretty, if a tad kitchy. I'd like to go back and spend more time there sometime, maybe combined with a trip to Toronto.

Today's driving was MUCH better, and the car is at the car doctor right now, for a checkup. Surgery, we hope, can wait 'til Houston.
 
 
I'm feeling: tiredtired
 
 
ruthless compassion
17 March 2004 @ 08:05 pm
Liz and I are staying tomorrow night (assuming we get to Chicago) in the Omni Ambassador East. If you want to do dinner or something, give a ring. My cell is 617-835-9943.