Sunday, March 16, 2008

Vail Pass damage

So, I really wish I had pictures of my accident while driving through the Vail Pass on I70 on my way to Denver, but I do not.
here is a brief synopsis:
Left Moab on Thursday morning to drive to my sister's place in Denver, the first stop on my way to Minneapolis to pick up my cat Noona, whom my wonderful friends Patty and Elizabeth have been watching for the last 6 months since I could not have her in park housing.
The weather was pretty damn good until I got to Vail Pass, a notoriously bad winter spot (elev. around 12,400 feet)
It was slushy and snowy up there, and traffic kept throwing icey slush on my windshield.
As I approached exit 176, a pick up truck got in front of me and coated my windshield, leaving me pretty much blinded except for seeing his tail lights.
he took the exit without signaling and it seemed that i as heading for the exit sign and guardrail, so i chose to aim for the exit.
My speed was a bit too high and i fishtailed, eventually hitting the front bumper on the right snowbank (losing the left driving light (foglight) and loosening the right.
it cracked the bumper on the driver side, cracked the windshield washer tank too.
I then did a 360 and the rear of the car went up onto the right snowbank with the rear wheels ending up about 3 inches off the ground and the car balanced on it's midsection.
I called AAA and they said an estimated time of 120 minutes to come get me off of there.
In the meantime, 4 people stopped to make sure I was ok and then the police and emergency crew came to check me out.
They were all amazing.
A Sergeant named Annette checked all of my info and wrote up the accident report and said she would call in a tow that would get there right away.
She was really excellent to deal with.
within 10 minues the tow was there and he winched me off and hey sent me on my way.
the only real damage was that the muffler came undone from a hanger and the driver side rear tire broke it's seal (though not completely flat).
I limped to the nearest service station, which was one exit back, and had a driver follow me the whole way to make sure i was ok.
The guy at teh shop fixed the tire and rehung the muffler for only 25 bucks!
I could hardly believe that within an hour and a half (maybe less) i had had the accident and recovered and was back on my way for only 25 dollars!

The exhaust probably got a bit more damage, cus it is definitely louder than before, and i think there may be a small leak in the filling tube to the gas tank cus if i top it off the first couple of gallons go really quickly.
My gas mileage is possibly down a bit too, but not anything drastic.

I made it to Minneapolis with no further problems and have been having a great time hanging out with Patty, Elizabeth, Brett and P & E's parents.
we went to a party last night and today drove over a short ways into Wisconsin to an antique store so patty could check out a spinning wheel which she ended up purchasing.

I've got the car all ready to head back west and am looking forward to finally being in my new home in Boulder.

When I first got here, Noona cursed me out in her catty way, hissing and saying all kinds of cat talk to me.
after about an hour she came out and made peace and now will not let me out of her sight.
P & E say that they have not seen her this happy!
Helps me know that she will be okay with leaving in the morning.
I am sure it will be fun to get her in the carrier though....
2 stops along the way...
Denver for a night and then Moab to get my belongings.
Vail pass is looking to be in good condition from the Colorado road conditions site and i hope it stays that way!

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