Easter Jeep Safari 2000
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Story by George Jessup

Easter Jeep Safari 2000

Day 2 - The angels are among us

Nice sleeping quartersI wake up at a rest stop half way through Nevada. It's purty out side (purty is southern for pretty). Still real gray and drizzly. Figures.. The rain and drizzle followed me. We hop on the road right into nasty weather for the next 4 hours. The first angel appears. While driving through a hail storm, the Green Ford Intrepid next to me does a high speed exit stage left. I don't know if the old couple used the breaks to slow down because of the weather or what, but something spun them a quarter turn and sent them flying into the desert median. My hand was on the CB mic. and calling for help on ch. 9 as they spun. I couldn't brake and stop because I, too, would slide or the big rig behind me would have eaten me alive.

I felt guilty. No way to turn around! Angle? Yeah definitely! Could of been me! Different lanes and they would of spun into me! If they spun another quarter and went off sideways instead of nose first then I would have been watching a high speed roll through the desert. Instead, they just flew into the median and spun a muddy rooster tail. A roll at that speed! That...would have been nasty.

I got to a rest stop and dialed 911 on the pay phone. NHP was already on its way. I still felt guilty!!! About 4 hours later another angel appears! This time he was definitely looking after me... and everyone in back. The traffic through Salt Lake City is "Shiiiiiiiii........." During the pile the traffic speed went from 50 to ZERO. I was heading straight into the DEATH ZONE with no room to stop. I have been reading a book on the capacity of the brain and teaching (thanks Lauren) and, well, the brain is an amazing thing. In about one and a half seconds it (and an angel, I'm sure) helped me do the following. BRAKE hard (like that is going to help) SCREEEEEEEEEECH...check mirror for approaching traffic in left lane... I know their is a blind spot ... oh well I am about to die anyway....ZIG- Floor it... CHIRP...exit stage left....approaching cement wall, ZAG- Floor it CHIRP... exit stage right into the lane... check mirror for possible rear collision... Floor it...CHIRP...yep, there is a car there but he is in controll.... Slow down... Blessed be the gods.

Beautiful weatherMe and the rest of us who would have piled are ALIVE. The guy behind me was not flipping me off for cutting him off so he may have had to jump out along with me or maybe these folks in Salt Lake are just nice. With my heart pounding I pull out of this "exit only lane" into the shoulder of the median so I can get back into the crawling traffic in my needed "exit only lane". Maybe they are nice? Or, some one put a 50 caliber machine gun on top of my roof rack, because within seconds someone left me a hole to enter into.

Approximately three hours later, I had traveled all of 10 miles. About 5 hours later (yep this 2 day, 16 hour drive ain't done and I've been at it 17 hours) it is pitch black and I am heading over the pass on I 70 out side of Salinas, Utah. I feel like I am in Han Solo's (first Star Wars) Millennium Falcon. I am entering into hyper drive and the stars, which are beginning to turn into streaks of white in my headlights, are all around me. It stays that way for a good long 20 minutes. Feels like an hour of white knuckle driving. I first leaned into the windshield for a better look. Now, I'm turning off the CB so I can concentrate.

Next went off the radio. I was plum scared. No... I am not going fast. It's white out blizzard over the pass. The white lines are blending in with the streaks of snow in my headlights. The snow gets a little lighter. I sit back. Next comes on the Radio...then the CB...phew...I made it. Jake's head is between the seats on the center console, snoozing away and waiting for a scratch on the head. I haven't stopped to get too many pics cause welllllllll, just haven't felt like sharing this gray, dreary...nasty day. I reach Moab at midnight their time. I bunk into the Hostile I had contacted. I SLEEEP.

INDEX | Day 3

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