A Great Night For A Motoring Adventure

We took a little trip to ski town so I could get a bunch of tiny xmas trees, and having got a late start we didn’t begin the return trip until dusk. I didn’t tell Amethyst what I knew was coming — there was no reason to start her worrying early.

She’s not at all fond of night driving, multiplied by a factor of several jillion when it’s wintertime night driving, and then raised to the bazillionth power when there’s any more than occasional oncoming traffic. And that’s what we got: a lot more than occasional oncoming traffic. It’s the Saturday before xmas and we were heading away from ski town after dark while all of the tourists were getting there by all means possible because there’s a fine storm coming in tomorrow to make travel tricky.

Funny people, ski tourists. They obviously don’t live around here, or they wouldn’t be tourists. They probably don’t live in places anything like this, either, or there’d be little reason to come to this place (except for our world famous snow, I suppose). But they’ll take to the highway telling themselves that they’ve made this same trip twice before and survived it so they’re suitably proficient mountain winter drivers. When you see their faces as they pass by, though, it’s clear that they’ve long since forgotten that silly notion just as they did the last time they made this trip and survived. And some of them, for some reason that I suspect may be sheer terror, just will not turn off their high beam headlamps for any reason. They’re following the cars ahead too closely, can clearly see the oncoming traffic’s headlights, and surely must notice that some number of them are flicking their high beams asking them to please turn theirs off. Nope, nuthin’ doin’. If I’m going to crash through that guardrail into the wilderness below, it’s by my high beams that my rescuers will find me. I guess that’s what they’re thinking, anyway, because there’s really no other explanation I can find for it.

And I’ve just recently spent about an hour thinking about it. One vehicle came at us with some very intensely bright lights and for the next four or five miles I had to keep my eyes moving more than usual so I could see what would otherwise be hidden behind the purple spots in my vision. If I could have pulled over safely I would have stopped to rest my eyes, but under those conditions the road shoulders are death traps. My vision would have recovered within minutes if I could have stopped, but instead my eyes were assaulted by the headlights of a holiday stream of cars and some of them, naturally, with their high beams on. I found myself wishing that the storm had blown in early and hard while we were on our way up the mountain, which would have stopped a lot of the tourists in the hotels and motels further down and stacked the rest in safe enough parades following snow plows. But we had no such luck.

The oncoming traffic finally thinned enough to allow my vision to recover, and then we encountered a slowpoke rolling five to ten under the limit. Amethyst really needed the break and I wasn’t about to pass up a good excuse for it, so I just turned off the cruise control and settled in to relax and enjoy the ride. There wouldn’t be many, if any, coming up behind us to be inconvenienced by it.

That lasted about two miles. A nice big cow elk had some reason to put something just as far behind her as she could just as fast as she could, and that’s pretty fast for an elk. They top out at around 45MPH, far faster than any horse can run, and this big girl was going flat out. I first saw her illuminated in the headlights of the car ahead as she cleared a fence about thirty yards off the left side of the road, so I let up the gas and looked for a sign that she might be thinking it best to avoid crossing the highway. She showed no sign of having chosen that option, so I went for the brake anticipating that the driver ahead would either brake, too, or get broken.

I’ll bet that driver’s butt puckered so hard that it bit a hunk of foam out of the seat. He or she apparently didn’t see the critter until it was on the pavement because the brake lights didn’t come on until the animal was just past the car. I couldn’t see it from where I was sitting, but Amethyst said that there wasn’t quite a foot separating car fender from elk butt at what wasn’t the point of impact. That driver has quite the story to tell tonight.

And I’ve got this one. And the elk, well, I figure that by the time we got home an hour later she was stopped to tell her story at a Tim Hortons.


10 thoughts on “A Great Night For A Motoring Adventure

    1. happierheathen Post author

      It was exciting at times, that’s for sure! Poor Amethyst, though. She loves me so much that she’ll decide to come along even knowing what to expect. The adventurous stuff that energizes me just causes anxiety for her — but she somehow finds trust enough in me and courage enough in herself enough to come along anyway, and just guts out the anxiety. If the shoe were on the other foot and I were the one who experienced the anxiety she does, I’d just stay home and fret.

  1. SouthernHon

    Have I missed posts from you or have you not been blogging much? Sorry if I have missed your blogs.
    I dislike night driving, too. Can’t say I’ve encountered any elk or ski tourists, but I have been blinded by the high beam users.
    Glad you made it home safely!

    1. happierheathen Post author

      I haven’t been blogging much. My broken record finally wore all the way through, leaving nothing but empty space where the sound used to be.

      I hope all’s well in your world!

        1. happierheathen Post author

          Since it could be better, I hope it gets that way right quick!

          I may blog more. I’ve tried several times to lay down a string of words that might have some value, but about the time I can’t find that value myself I just delete the drivel. It’s like a public service, not wasting people’s time. 🙂

  2. LAMarcom

    Howdy Heathen, My Good Friend,

    “I may blog more. I’ve tried several times to lay down a string of words that might have some value, but about the time I can’t find that value myself I just delete the drivel. It’s like a public service, not wasting people’s time.”

    T’would seem… we have, le both, reached some ‘brief’ epiphany.

    My absence is easily explained away (I have been sober). Yours? Well, I just don’t know. I am not buying that you are some kind of public servant.
    No Sale.

    I suddenly have found me’self with two weeks to kill: No Work (Thank You NIKE), no GF, (Thank you Texas No-Fault-Deevorce! Thank you My Bank for getting me that new debit card so fast — long story… Et cetera.

    Now you may (or may not) know Heathen, but I now live in Memphis, Amerika. Elvis lives here (or did, so they keep reminding me–like I give a shit–don’t get me wrong; I am an Elvis fan, just like Tom Hanks in ‘Castaway’, but….jeeze! We have (haven’t we?) crossed that bridge into the 21st cent?

    This from Lance, who writes of The Seventies as if it were the Italian Renaissance.
    Hardy har har!

    People in Memphis cannot drive.
    They cannot.
    Trust me: I know bad drivers: Sheeit! They used to pay me to drive in Cairo, Egypt and Baghdad! (I know from where I speak)
    I am back now with some time to kill (and En Sha’allah, It won’t kill me) and I will be trying real hard to fix my broken Blog. (Yes, it is broken—I have been re-reading some of my last drunken posts, er… re-posts—time to get some new shit out there Cowboy!
    Et cetera, et cetera…

    “I have not yet begun to defile myself: stay tuned. I am going to rebuild my blog if it hair-lips the Pope.

    Peace and Merry Christmas


    1. happierheathen Post author

      Yep, I wuz aware that you’re inhabiting Al Green’s town. Or at any rate that you were unless/until you found another geopolitical division to invade and occupy.

      It seems that I lost my ability to perceive my opinions as worthy of expression coincident with losing my taste for ethanol. My ability to perceive the opinions of others as worthy of consideration went with it, too, which may actually be a bad thing but feels quite good so I’m just going with the flow.

      Speaking of the 70’s, the pinnacle decade of American culture:

      Fuck Elvis.

      1. LAMarcom

        You have just made my day.
        Oh my fucking gawd!
        Drunk with no care for fellows
        Dope, wimmens, booze, funk!
        Burt Reynolds and Kris K!
        Egypt (for me)
        Life, She was sweet.
        I can die now.
        Hey! Check out my latest post: MY TRUMP
        You just might love it (or mock me)
        The mocking makes me strong!
        Happy Holidaze to you Friend.
        Lance (now incognito)
        Shhhhhhh Don’t tell.


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