Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why I believe in Guardian Angels, Part III

This is the third installment. Here are links to the first and second.

It was the first day of school, senior year. Up until this time I had been driving our family's GMC Sierra for months, fortunately my dad now needed it for a construction project he was working on. This meant that I had to drive his 1984 Corvette for a week or two.

The weather had been odd all day. It had changed from sunny to rainy and back again a number of times already. My friend Tyler and I grabbed our bags and headed out the school doors toward the parking lot. He lived next door to me so I offered to give him a ride home, up the canyon to Mantua. We rolled through Brigham at speeds near 50 mph and gained steam as we took the overpass over Highway 89. The rain started back up again in sporadic fashion. A sheet of rain, then nothing, another sheet, then nothing. I was pushing 60, then 70, then 80 in a matter of seconds. I had taken this canyon at 100 before and felt quite comfortable with a scant 85. I merged onto the highway and we sped past the poor fools in their Accords and Camrys. I was a mile up the canyon, testosterone pumping. Pearl Jam was laying down a soundtrack for our adventure: Once upon a time Mr. Eddie Vedder could trust himself.

Suddenly my front tires felt loose. We were spinning, fast. We turned around 360 degrees, and decided to go 90 more before our spin slowed and we found ourselves in oncoming traffic. I slammed on the gas with the wheel whipped to the right, spun 180 degrees back toward the lane we came from, and then took the rest of the canyon at 45 miles per hour. I had learned my lesson - 12" sports car tires make great skis in the rain.

Had we been in a higher profile vehicle, there is no doubt the 85 mile per hour spin would have flipped us. Had it been any other 5 seconds in the canyon, it is likely we would have been hit by oncoming traffic. At the very least, if I had spun the other way, we would have slid off the road, either into a barrier or into a tree. Luckily none of those things happened, and we arrived safely home.

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