Monday, December 22, 2008
Asleep At The Wheel
I drove the route again a while ago and tried to find the place. I had no luck in my search because it had snowed another many inches and the big trucks with their long armed blades that plow the snow well past the shoulders of the road had been out. My tracks had been snowed over and plowed away, but I did see many mail boxes and sign posts that I could have smashed into. I saw utility poles and trees that I could have wrapped the van around. I saw stone walls and metal guard rails that I could have sideswiped and careened off into oncoming traffic. I saw ditches deep enough to roll a van into and others so steep that I would have ended up far from the road in the valley below after how many flips and tumbles? When I awoke at the wheel, steering myself back onto the roadway as ice and snow flew past my windshield and across my side window, and as I was thrown into the opposite lane by wheels apparently turned too sharply to the left, with traffic far enough down the road to allow me time to adjust back into my lane, I was lucky indeed to have been on one of the few stretches of the road where such a correction was possible. Driving the route again, seeing the obstacles and conditions of the shoulders of the winding and hilly Wisconsin roads, I was impressed more deeply than ever with the truth of what one friend said, which was "You are lucky to be alive" and with the even graver truth of what another friend said, "You could have killed someone!"