Dangerous driving was the theme for the last mineral collecting trip of the season in 2013. While conditions for collecting were fine, it seemed any time we were on the road, the weather dealt us some nasty challenges. Heavy thunderstorms pelted rain on the way up, and on the way back, dense fog all but obliterated the view.
On the first day, just as we were heading to our motel for the evening, a terrible storm blew in… not so bad thunder and lightning wise, but the rain! Holy Noah! Totally impossible to see.
So, OK, here’s where we get to the relationship category assigned to this post. Husbands and wives, or (I suppose I should not generalize) this husband and wife have very different ideas of what constitutes safe driving conditions. I wrote about the foggy day earlier this year. This was the day I decided to stay home rather than white-knuckle it. My experience during this Sudbury or Bust trip taught me that I was better off, rather we were both better off if I stayed home and he drove in peace.
Back to the deluge in Sudbury. It was dinner time and normally there would have been an hour or so of daylight left. It was dark. The windshield wipers were useless against the torrent. We could see no more than a hundred meters down the road, and he drove at the posted speed limit of 80 km/hr.
“Pull over”, I asked. “Let’s wait it out.”
“I can see, we’re fine.”
“You are going too fast! At least slow down.”
“Don’t worry about it! I know what I’m doing.”
“I’m really uncomfortable. Please. Pull over.”
Wait. No. I did not say that. I only thought that. I assumed that I did not need to say anything. Couldn’t he tell from my anxiety and my requests that maybe I was freaking out a bit? But since we were in the middle of monsoon season, I did not think it was an appropriate time for a husband and wife discussion on why he’s pissing me off! I kept my mouth shut.
He dropped his speed from 80 to 60. Of course we made it back to the motel in one piece. Which of course reinforced his position and weakened mine.
On the return trip, in the aforementioned fog, we took the wrong exit. Damn! Now what? I replayed the Please-pull-over tape, but that fell upon deaf ears. You can imagine my “dismay” when I realized that he was about to make a U-turn! Un-freaking-believable!
Once again, he pulled it off without consequence. Thank god.
The fog held for another hour or so, but it was two hours before my own personal funk lifted. You might say it was a quiet trip.
Thankfully, the weather turned sunny. The final stretch of the trip would be pleasant. It was near rush hour and the traffic was heavy, but everyone was driving sensibly.
An hour from home, Reiner suddenly signals a turn left. Startling not only in that this was not our usual route, but it was a last-minute move. It turns out that he was bored by the same old roads and the same old scenery. He wanted to mix it up a bit.
What he didn’t see were the “Road Closed” barriers on the sideroad. OK, no problem, right? Complete the turn, and wait until it’s safe to re-enter the main highway, right?
Nope. He simply returns to the original program. Without checking the other drivers’ opinion (i.e. two lanes-full approaching, two lanes-full behind) what’s a driver to do? Easy! Pedal to the metal! The guy behind is dim-bulb number two in the equation. This dude is accelerating and laying on his horn! So Reiner has no choice but to out race him, full speed ahead into oncoming traffic!
Talk about surreal .
I hollered “Reiner!”
He replied, to the guy behind, “Idiot!”
That was it by way of discussion.
There is a mineral show in Peterborough this weekend. The weather forecast is for snow. I think he and I need to have a little talk.
This post inspired by
Photo Credit http://www.panoramio.com/photo/30756613
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