Friday, December 14, 2007

Colateral Damage

Having seen some storm damage where trees had fallen on people’s cars and trucks reminds me of a heart sick feeling I once had as I was driving a new Subaru home that I just drove off the lot a half hour earlier.

When the roads got icy back in New Jersey the sanding trucks would come out. Here in Oregon the put gravel on the roads. Why they use gravel instead of sand here is beyond me, unless the folks who repair window chips have a strong lobby and fund the use of gravel in this state.

Anyway, the sand trucks would get loaded at the town shops and they would drive under a low rail road trestle that would level the top of the load of sand on the truck, hence depositing a good payload of sand on the road below the trestle and much of it getting stuck on the girders of the bridge above.

I was driving home on such a night when they were sanding. As I drove under the trestle a train was rolling over the tracks above. The train shook down a storm of sand that was scrapped from the sand trucks. There was no avoiding it. I watch in horror as sand covered my hood, windshield and sun roof. I pulled over when I reached the other side. My car had the equivalent of four wheel barrows of sand on it. I cleared the window so I could drive home and carefully remove the rest.

My new car didn’t even get a scratch from it. Had it been gravel the paint would have been ruined. Though everything was fine I still carried the panic and trauma with me as long as I owned that car.

Oregon was real, hard on that car after I moved here. I had a branch fall on it, a deer ran into the side of it once, and I had extensive windshield rock chip damage before I traded it in for a new car several years ago.


Blogger Mike S said...

It never fails to amaze me when folks unfamiliar with the ocean park their vehicles with no regard to tidal action:)

11:58 AM  
Blogger wrichards said...

Oregon uses gravel because the beaches are public domain, and you aren't supposed to take anything from them. (I guess)

Using sand would be a useful purpose for dredge spoils.

1:03 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Yeah, Mike we can drive on our beach in most of the county, and this happens pretty often out here. That isn't my car by the way, but that's how it felt after the sand fell on it.

Walt, what do they use in Washington? Dredge spoils would do the trick and we'll soon be having a lot of that up around Bradwood.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Columbiacontrolfreak said...

The first time I ever paid more than $500 for a car was when I bought my first brand new Subaru. The trade in I drove into the lot that day was another Subaru I had bought used for $200, it had 85,000 miles on it when I bought it and 269,000 when I walked away from it. The mechanic who inspected it for trade in value ended up being my cousins old boyfriend and he said he'd throw match into the gas tank before he'd let me leave in it. Apparently my love of using speed bumps as launch platforms had done the front end no good and the wheels were in danger of falling off. :-)

Six years later the new Sub is an old sub with over 120 thou on it, cracked windshield and leaking head gasket, but I'm not ready to give it up yet.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I bought my '99 Subaru in '01 it had 24,000 miles. Today 202,000. Changed the timing belt once, the rest has been oil and tires. Still drives like a dream, 27.5 miles to the gallon under good conditions.

4:33 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I've had four Subarus now, which inspires me to do a post about them. Readers as become muses.

5:53 AM  

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