Join Date: Aug 2002
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O/T: Hair-raising experience (long)
Well, I had a cool weekend, almost. A buddy of mine that I haven't seen in 3 years came up to visit me. We had a good meal Saturday night, good chat, good fire etc. We feasted on Alaskan salmon shipped to me by another friend who is a fisherman there. All I can say is it was incredible!
Anyway, come Sunday, we decided to go for a short hike up on the Parkway. With my driveshaft out of my Jeep I borrowed my girlfriends Explorer (2wd!), and my buddy and I set off. Well It has been butt cold here for about a week, and had been sleeting on Saturday, but the roads were fine.
The road to the parkway ascends up a mountain and gets pretty narrow and curvy at the top. Before I realized it though, I was in solid ice. I started sliding immediately. I directed the truck toward the bank (the other side was the mountain edge, with no guardrail) and came to a halt. I tried to back up and do a three point turn, but everytime I hit the gas, the rear end just slid down (we were still ascending the mountain)
After a bit of wigging out and wondering what to do, we decided to back it down. I hit the gas and let the rear end slide down until I was backing down the road. I was extremely uncomfortable with this as I couldn't see how close to the edge I was. I freaked and hit the brakes. This started me in a spin, and directed the nose down slope. Somehow, I realized that this was a good thing, and I tried to use it to my advantage. I held the brakes and let the truck spin around until I was facing back downhill. Luckily (veeerrrry luckily) I had done a 180 in the middle of the road with only a few feet to spare! As soon as I was headed back down hill, I carefully applied the gas and drove out of there.
Needless to say, I was an emotional wreck. A guy that had happened to drive up in his Toyota 4x4 saw the entire thing. We got out of the truck and approached him, as he was stopped on the shoulder. He was freaking out just as much as we were. I can only imagine what it looked like from outside the truck. Yet even after that, the guy got back in his truck, set his tires on the shoulder (near the bank, on the oncoming lane) and drove on up! We high-tailed it out of there.
After thinking about the incident for a day now, all I can say is rather than feel lucky about getting out of there unhurt, I just feel kind of stupid for getting into the situation to begin with. I feel like even if I were in the Jeep, I would have spun out. It was pretty steep, and I didn't even think to use the shoulder. You just can't be too careful!
I guess someone was looking out for us that day... [img]images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]