Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Small Owie On My Car

We took Matthew out for his Birthday dinner celebration last night because he is working from 6 to 6 on Wednesday, his 24th birthday. We enjoyed a lovely dinner at the Hong Kong Buffet and headed home by about 7pm.
But, as we ate, a cold front moved in, dropping temperatures and a glaze of ice over all the roads that then changed over to snow on top of it. Black ice!!! The deadliest driving conditions of all.

I was driving my 1989 Mercury Marquis sedan with two wheel drive. At least I had studded snow tires that Felix and Matthew had graciously put on the day before. But this part of New Hampshire is quite hilly and the black ice spun me out as I tried to go up Cotton Hill or Mystery Hill on Route 107. I did a complete donut and landed in a shallow ditch going the opposite direction! I was able to drive out of that and we quickly determined that a broken stick was all that was causing the ticking noise.

We changed our route and went back into Laconia to get on route 106 going south into Belmont. The roads were treacherous! It required all of my concentration to hold my big old car on the road. We got into Belmont to the intersection of Route 106 and Route 140 at the lights and headed uphill on the huge Gilmanton Road hill. We spun out again! Did another complete donut, crossing over the oncoming lane and narrowly missing a guardrail. We landed on a small bit of sandy gravel that was unfrozen headed for a VERY steep drop-off into some woods. I felt like Thelma and Louise! But we were all unhurt and so very grateful for that! I tried to back out, away from the cliff and promptly was stuck in the soft earth up to my hubcaps. But at least, I was completely off the road. It was 7:30pm and we were not going anywhere, fast!

A good Samaritan stopped as she was coming down the hill and called for the police. As she was there, another car, that was also traveling downhill, lost control and slid right between the good Samaritan's car and mine, hitting my car with a glancing blow to my rear left bumper and then hitting the guardrail. That driver was, I later learned, Annette T. who was mostly unhurt except for smacking her knee on her own dashboard.

Soon, a police car arrived and reports were filled out and information exchanged. It was very difficult to stand or walk and very cold! At one point, Annette slipped and fell right onto her back on the pavement!
Annette's car wasn't running and mine was, with the heater going full blast. So we invited her to sit in my driver's seat where it was the warmest and I sat in the back with Matthew and my big case for the Featherweight. We passed a delightful hour waiting for the tow truck to arrive, chatting and eating hard peppermint twist candy. Annette also lives in Gilmanton and is a spritely 81 years young!

As the plow truck arrived to salt/sand the area, he started to get stuck too. Then there were at least two more accidents involving the plow.A second police car, had arrived too. We had been told that the safest place was to stay in the car.
At last, at about 9pm, Rusty's tow service pulled me out of the gravel and I drove away down the hill. Fortunately, I had the checkbook and was delighted to pay him his very low fee of $60. But the hill was now even more impassable and I was going in the wrong direction, LOL! MY, my, what to do?

We rejoined Route 106 south and hoped that perhaps the snow/ice line of weather might be nearby and that we might be able to drive out of it. No! The road was still terrible and I drove 20 to 25 miles an hour on a road whose speed limit is usually 50mph. We got down to Allen's Mill Road, a very steep-hilled shortcut up onto Route 140. Hallelujah!!! A small sander truck was there! As we watched, he laid a thick swath of pure salt onto the road, making it passable!

We got home at 10:00pm and counted all our blessings!!! We are so lucky.

I love driving a tank!

Stay calm and quilt on!


Beth in MN said...

Vic, I am so glad no one was hurt and you got home safely with only minor damage to your vehicle. Guess I will take snow, cold, and fairly flat terrain any day!!!

kathy said...

Glad to hear that all got home safely. Black ice is so dangerous. We have it every winter at the bottom of our hill and can tell when it is present by the skid marks from the first to find it. Happy Thanksgiving

Auntie Em said...

Whoa! What a trip just to get home! Only you could find the delight in waiting for a tow truck.
I'm glad you were all okay.

Nann said...

What an adventure! Big cars can be a blessing. How many miles do you have on your Marquis? Are you its only owner? (And, p.s., how did you edit out the license plate #? (Wise idea!))

Janet O. said...

Oh, my goodness, Vic. How scary! I am so glad you were not hurt and that your car just got a small owie. A lesser car would not have held up as well! : )
I've been on those hilly roads. I can't imagine traveling them with black ice.
Trust you to make the best of a bad situation. I can just envision you sitting in the car chatting, eating your peppermints.
So grateful you are okay.

Helen in the UK said...

Goodness! Glad you got home safely in the end :)

cityquilter grace said...

so glad nobody was hurt and the car only a little....the worst part of winter, bad roads. stay in and sew! and congrats to matthew

Debra Robinson said...

What a trip home! My goodness. So glad you weren't alone in your car. Yes, I've always loved your car, old faithful..Kisses all around...Happy Birthday Matthew!..

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