Today I started my drive to Colorado. I’ll be in Vail for a week! It’s my first East West trip and my first solo vacation. By that I mean I’m not going to or with family. How I’ve gotten to this age and not vacationed alone I don’t know. I’m excited. Because it’s Colorado, because it’s EastWest and because it’s a first. I’ve done Colorado/New Mexico and Oregon/California.
I started out just before 10. Only had to run back twice. Once for a spare ziplock and once for cash. I’m pretty proud there weren’t more. Or even a full turn around before leaving Portland. I found that without a pace car my happy place is 80mph. Since the limit on 84 in Oregon is 65 I decided to finally try out my cruise control. And I figured it out! I’m not a fan or cruise control. It feels like I’m on a ride rather than driving. And I like driving. But to keep me closer to legal I decide to make an exception. So I was off. Driving along the water was beautiful. Did you know there are solar houses being build with views of the water? Neither did I.
A little Mazda came up along side me. Not very fast not very slow. As she passed I noticed her plate was ZOOMNBY. Cute, Mazda and ZOOM but if you’re going to make that claim shouldn’t you actually ZOOM by? Just saying.
There was road work being done so the left lane was pylon-ed off. I’m driving along single file with my fellow 84s and what do I see but a big SUV in the left lane. On the other side of the line of cones! What’s coming toward it? The paving machine. Sadly we were moving at a decent clip so I didn’t get to see how it resolved it’s self.
I crossed the 45th Parallel and entered Mountain Time. I know because there were signs!
I had thought about stopping in Ontario. Well, I did stop for gas and half a sandwich. Had the last of my gazpacho, thanks Nik! And my last CSA cucumber. But I was ready for a bit more driving. Stopping while still in Oregon just felt wrong. So I kept going to Boise. That was a mistake. No offense Brauny. I pulled off the highway near the airport to pick a place to stay. The car ahead of me was clearly doing the same. They turned into the Comfort Inn parking lot and I turned as well. Unfortunately they stopped leaving me in the street. I honked. Then they started backing up. I honked again, still backing up. I laid on the horn and then they hit me. I was still stuck in the road so I quickly backed up and pulled into the next parking lot. I didn’t pull off to the side because there was no side. (Which I frustratedly explained later.) Just a lane for traffic. They backed up and drove by. I was without words. I pulled out thinking perhaps I could see where they went. But I couldn’t. So I pulled into the USBank lot and called USAA.
As usual USAA was awesome. I gave Tom the info. As I was on the phone with him the car drove by. I waved franticly but they kept driving. Then they came to a stop at the light in front of the bank. So, naturally I ran up to the car. Read the plate to Tom at USAA and knocked on the passenger window. An elderly woman rolled down the window. I said “you guys backed into me” she looked confused. I was not encouraged. I said I honked and honked but you kept backing up. The said they didn’t hear anything. Even less encouraged. I said I was on the phone with USAA and that I was parked in the lot. The woman said something about turning around. The light turned green and they turned. Having never been to Boise I had no idea where the road went. I was not optimistic that they would return. Since I wasn’t even sure if they were aware they had hit me prior to me telling them. I apologized to Tom for getting a big load of the Nina crazies and thanked him for his help.
I went back to my car and called the non emergency police number. As I was talking to dispatch I saw the car pull into a hotel parking lot across the street. When I was finishing my call the husband started walking to my car. He said he didn’t want to move his car because he didn’t know how to get out of “here”. I believe he was referring to the US Bank parking lot. But there was no median on Airport Way so you could turn right or left out of the lot (later I did turn left very easily). Then his wife walked over. She had a bit of an attitude. She wanted to know why I was behind them (I wanted to know why they stopped leaving me in the road). She wanted to know where “my” cop was. I told her that dispatch said someone was on their way. By this time her husband had left to bring the car over. Meanwhile, another car pulled up and told me they saw everything. They explained that they worked at Thrify which is across the street and up the hill a bit from the Comfort Inn. They said they heard my horn and one guy saw everything if I needed him as a witness. I thanked them and took the employees name. I confirmed they heard lots of honking and that the other car backed into me. I briefly explained the “conversation” with the elderly couple thus far. Pointing out they “heard nothing” seemed unaware of hitting me and the wife blamed me. I thanked them for stopping and apologized for the load of Nina crazy.
The husband returned with the car. The Thrifty employees and I joked that no one should back up. As her husband was giving me his info she said, in a rather defensive manner, they should be giving it to the police. I said they will be getting my info too and that it was for my insurance company. She was bound and determined that I was at fault. The officer arrived confirmed no one was hurt and asked who would like to describe the situation first. The other driver started and I quietly listened. Then I told me version. I have their paint and they took mine. So it should be a simple buff and paint. The officer said it was a non reportable accident. He gave us each a form to fill out (I had started filling out iWrecked but that was upsetting the wife so we went with the forms). We confirmed that we could read each others hand writing. I thanked the officer for coming and thanked the other driver for coming back. They are from Wyoming going to Oregon and I am, of course, going to Colorado. Delightful way to start my trip.
My take aways are avoid driving behind very large burgundy sedans and if the car in front of you stops as they are entering a parking lot throw it in reverse and get out of there. Rent from Thrify they are very attentive and helpful, stay at Comfort Inn (they gave me a double room, which is all they had available, for the single rate). And if you can get USAA insurance DO IT and never look back.
Tomorrow is another day…