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This was perhaps one of my scariest return trips from DC…

October 13, 2006, 12:47 AM

On my DC trips, for the run up to Vienna and the run back home, the goal is for the actual driving to be uneventful, and therefore forgettable. As you probably guessed, having had so many of these things, I don’t always get what I want.

I remember one time in May 2004 when I had a blowout on the way up. It happened on I-81, near Mt. Crawford. Thus this happened about 30 minutes into the trip. AAA put the spare tire on, and I continued to DC. The return leg of that trip was uneventful. Then there was the time in June 2004 when it was raining hard all the way to Vienna, culminating in a soaking of the Previa’s undercarriage right at the Nutley Street exit, which caused the car to strain at 25 mph for that last little bit into the parking space. Then there have been numerous return trips where I’ve gotten so fatigued that I have to stop en route and take a nap. Then there was January 17, 2004, and also January 20, 2005 – on those return trips, I had to battle snow almost the entire way back.

But this most recent return trip was perhaps the scariest one yet, due to an incident that happened just north of New Market. It had been raining, and so the road was wet. I was driving in the left lane. I spotted a deer taking a leisurely stroll across I-81, and was walking in the left lane at the time. Thus, I was on a collision course with a deer. Thankfully, I spotted it in time, and the road was clear all around me. I quickly swerved into the right lane and recovered, avoiding a second incident with a deer. One is enough, trust me.

The whole thing happened so fast that I didn’t even have a chance to be scared until it was all over. I just reacted, turning the wheel hard over, and therefore clearing the deer, leaving both of us unscathed. Afterwards is when I had a chance to be scared about it. That’s when I realized that hitting a deer going at interstate speeds would certainly not have been the little bump that the car got from hitting one on the Parkway going relatively slowly. That kind of a hit would have probably put the Sable out of commission for a while, like a similar deer hit did to the Previa in 1994 near Woodstock. It could have even totaled it, which would have been very bad for me automotively. Such an accident could have also caused the airbags to deploy, and car airbags just scare me overall for a variety of reasons. Plus there was the rain factor, considering that the road was wet.

Needless to say, I am very fortunate that I got away unscathed.

Categories: DC trips, Driving