Tell the true story of a dramatic moment in your life, but weave in one secret and one lie.
During the summer of 1994 we decided to go on a road trip to Vancouver. My friend and I set off early from Calgary. Outside Revelstoke I offered to drive for a bit. I didn’t really want to drive but I felt I should take my turn. Once you leave the town’s limits the speed limit goes from 50 to 80 km/hr (or at least it does in my memory). Whatever the speed changes were I remember I was second in a long line of cars merging on to the highway. I waited for the car ahead of me to speed up but it didn’t. The driver seemed unaware of the speed limit increase. I felt myself growing impatient. I was driving an SUV and the cars behind me couldn’t see what the hold up was, which only increased my need to remedy the situation.
I want to admit something here: I’m a nervous passer. I don’t enjoy passing cars, especially on a two lane highway like this one. My companion was asleep so there was no guidance there. I had a dotted line and a clear line of sight so I pulled out to the left and started to accelerate. All of a sudden I could see cars coming toward me. And they were coming fast. I must have hesitated too long or miscalculated or something. I panicked. I decided the only safe thing was to get back in line. I yanked the wheel hard right and set the SUV to swerving. It felt like I had suddenly hit ice. As I felt the swerves grow in ever-widening arcs I realized I no longer had control of the car. We determined later that at this point I must have hit the brake because we launched into the air, flipping 4 times. Later we learned there were no scrapes on the doors on either side of the car so we flipped without touching the ground. It must have been a spectacular show for the cars behind me. We landed passenger side down, still in our own lane. We didn’t cause any other accidents that day and both of us walked away, two facts which we consider miracles. So did the ambulance driver who picked us up.
We never did make it to Vancouver that summer.
Next week: A cockroach at the Roosevelt.
This is the latest exercise in my 642 Things to Write About Project. Click on the link to find out more, or click on the category 642 Things to Write About Project to read past exercises. 🙂