Sunday, January 10, 2016

My 9 Vehicular Lives

I ended 2015 and started 2016 each with an insurance claim.

The deer left a nice imprint.
In December I was on my way to work early in the morning and a big ol' deer jumped out in front of my car. My little go-kart of a car. Despite slamming on the brakes, I hit Mr. Deer and he rolled up onto my windshield and off the left side. He got up and ran away while I got out (with difficulty because my door wouldn't open all the way) and inspected the damage. It was very minimal considering the deer was as big as my car and made of sturdier stuff than ol' Jerry the Honda Civic. I was lucky the aluminum foil of a body didn't crumple up around me (it still did $1500 worth of damage, but still. Last year a snowbank in my driveway did worse damage...I thought the snowbank would yield as I was turning around and instead the fender yielded, denting and cracking somethin' awful.)

Yesterday, I had my trailer hitched up to the truck and was on my way to an MMSAR meeting, after which I was going to pick up a load of hay. It was lightly snowing when I left so I made sure to give myself lots of time to go slow. And the roads were fine for the first half an hour of the drive. Then I turned onto a state road and started climbing a hill. La la la, everything's fine, then I felt a tug from behind. Fuck.

The trailer fishtailed and like an overenthusiastic dog tail, wagged the truck hard. I tried to compensate, but it swung the whole rig around and came to rest against the snowbank on the other side of the road, pointing the opposite way I had been traveling. 

Phew, that wasn't so bad, I thought. Not nearly as bad as the last time I fishtailed a vehicle in the snow, rolled it, and hit a tree. 

Except then I looked out the back to see how much I was blocking the road. Poor trusty trailer was on its side. Fuck. But at least it had parked us quite nicely on the shoulder of the road and not in it!

The guy who had been behind me had pulled over, gotten out, and was picking up various pieces of the trailer from the middle of the road. A guy who had been coming the opposite way came running up to make sure I was okay. 

I called 911 and while I was on the phone with the dispatcher, a police officer (detective?) in plain clothes and an unmarked car pulled up. I hung up with 911, said hi to the police officer, and my eyes started leaking tears. 

Long story short, a couple of state troopers and a gaggle of firefighters came to close the road and supervise while a wrecker got the truck free and pulled it out away from the trailer.

Initially it looked like maybe if they tipped it upright it could limp home if I got another ball hitch because it had just twisted the hitch, not the receiver on the truck or the trailer tongue.

But as I watched from a distance (they had me pull the truck into a driveway in case the trailer started running away after being pulled upright), I saw the trailer get upright,  then pulled onto the tow truck. It was not anywhere close to roadworthy; the tires were completely jacked and the roof was caving in.

I said my goodbyes to the's been my towing companion for a little under 10 years and it has hauled some very valuable things for me. With it I learned how to back like a pro; in fact the day before when I picked up a load of hay and to back up what seemed like half a mile through a maze, I got a compliment of "Wow, you back up really good for a girl!" -- the last part was duly ignored.

So I said goodbye, thanked the troopers, firefighters, and tow truck guy, and went to the MMSAR meeting. (I considered going home but I was closer to the meeting, and I did get some brownie points when I told the troopers I was on my way to a search and rescue meeting so I had to make good on that.)

I thought I had used up all my available vehicular luck with my rollover from a few years ago. I guess not, because there was SO MUCH luck in abundance today. I was lucky that this happened when there were no horses in the trailer. I was lucky there was no one in the oncoming traffic lane when I did my spectacular maneuvers across the road. I was lucky the truck didn't flip with the trailer. I was lucky the truck escaped with little to no damage.

Luck was definitely with me today. All things considered, it wasn't too bad. It was much less traumatic than my rollover and hey, I get a new trailer if it ends up being considered totaled!

I made sure to give Bis some extra loving when I got home, grateful he wasn't with me, and Tanner's caretaker sent me a pic of him to lift my spirits which of course it did...he is getting spoiled rotten over there!

I may have also started looking at farms in warmer climates...(I kid...mostly...)

And then I spent 2 and a half hours trying to wrangle a goat to stay in its enclosure. But that is a different story.