i spent almost an entire week in santa barbara. i got back last night. i'm just going to lounge around the house today to re-aclimate from the whirlwind trip.
last sunday i drove down to sb with g. she had spent the weekend visiting me. she and her speedy gt eventually lost me on the last leg of our trip, some 50 miles before we reached sb.
monday and tuesday i spent working at hvs, my ex employer, when i wasn't running personal errands. wednesday morning i worked some more, including helping to decorate the old office for the annual fiesta party.
the old gang
balloons and beers
the party went well. over 200 people showed up. it's a lot more enjoyable now that i don't have to schmooze with the clients. the party sort of turned into be a babyfest. four of the guys i used to work with all brought in their babies, ranging from 2 to 8 months old. you can guess what they all harrassed me about all evening.
thursday i left santa barbara at 9 am sharp. at 9:20, i hit a deer.
here's my full report, aka more information than necessary. skip as preferred.
i had just finished climbing the steep grade on san marcos pass. there were few cars and we were all going downhill pretty fast. right when i passed stage coach road intersection, i saw something jumped out of the bushes from the left side of the highway about 30 yards ahead. it went prancing across the street right in front of the car ahead of me. the guy slammed on his brakes and began skidding. i also slammed on my brakes because i was sure the guy ahead was going to hit that deer. i could see it all happening. the guy was skidding and skidding and just when i expected the impact, the deer sprang back and missed the car completely!
now the deer is back in the middle of the road, hopping back and forth sort of in a circle trying to decide which way to go. there was no on coming traffic so it looked like he was going to go back where he came from.
except he didn't. he decided to continue hopping across the road, right into my car. i was still skidding when the deer hit me so i was going at most 25 mph. it all happened so fast! my arms were fully outstretched pushing on the steering wheel. my right leg was pushing on the brakes so hard i sort of lifted myself out of my seat. i could feel all the boxes in the back seat pound on the back of my seat. my cd player and cds went flying off the passenger seat. the screeching of the tires, the awful thump of the deer, the shattered bits of glass raining down. all the commotion in one split second.
he was a good looking deer. when i hit him, he looked exactly like the silhouette on the deer crossing street sign: a head full of horns and upright on his hind legs. he landed on the vertical bar that transitions from the windshield to the side window. his head hit the windshield before he flew off my car, landing in the middle of the road. i came to a complete stop about ten feet past him. i sat in my car and, in my rear view mirror, i could see him frantically crawling across the high way using his front legs.
the woman who was driving behind me pulled over in front of me. she came knocking on my window yelling, "are you okay, honey?" i opened the door but it couldn't swing out so i had to push to get out. the air smelled thick of burnt rubber. i realized i was shaking uncontrollably. the woman gave me a big hug.
chp officer+fireman retracing event
there were no signs of accident on the road, no blood, no shattered car bits, nothing other than two sets of skid marks and two parked cars on the side of the road. my car was banged up but the damages were mild. a fireman happened to be driving by so he made a u turn and parked behind me. he put out red cones, called chp, and saw to it that i was okay. i got back inside the car and called for a tow. the woman left and two chp officers showed up. one wrote up the accident, the other one went looking for the deer with a shot gun.
i felt a bit numb. my mind kept rerunning all the thoughts that flashed through my head the moment the accident happened, including all the conflicting emotions. i remember thinking "f--king deer!" right before i hit him and then thinking "i'm so sorry" right after i hit him.
i spent a lot of time on the phone with various people. my mechanic was talking to me when i heard the shot gun go off. my mind sort of went blank.
towed safely to tri co auto glass parking lot
i left my car at the shop and went to lunch with g at de la guerra plaza. the fiesta was happening in full force.
stage at de la guerra
i had a chicken sope and watched flamenco dancers of various ages. we sat in the sun for half an hour and waited patiently to see g's cousin.
five year olds
live flamenco music
g's cousin doing a solo piece
around 4:30, they finished replacing my windshield and rear view mirror.
as good as new
friday morning my right leg was still sore. i set off again at the same time on the same highway. i made it to san luis obispo hitting no more than an empty card board box. i went to see my mechanic at sunset honda.
i hung around despite this threatening sign
my awesome trusty mechanic jake took on my decrepid car despite his full schedule. he's been my mechanic since my starving student days at cal poly. we swapped our deer-hits-car experiences while he fixed my poor old car. i didn't realize that the accident had broken the bulb in my driver side head light.
it's a rare beautiful sunny and calm day in sausalito today. my right leg is still a bit sore but i'm fine overall. i'm glad to be back, i guess. i start a new job in the city monday. i'm enjoying my last weekend as a care free bum. i hope you're having a wonderful weekend, too.
I LOVED READING ABOUT THIS!!! I just kept laughing.
"SHE TOOK A PICTURE OF THE CHP OFFICER" I guffawed while nearly spewing my tea at the computer and Richard (who was looking over my shoulder).
hahaha. I'm glad you're ok!
» from g
i told you that you should have stayed! i am glad to hear that you are doing okay. i will talk to you soon!
» from Melissa
I started crying when "the gun shot went off." Poor deer. I know the pain of things flying at your face, tho. I had a delivery truck hubcap skipping down the freeway on its edge, smash into the windshield right in front of my face. Not fun. I'm SO bummed I missed you this week. Now I'm really mad at my paper that needed finishing!
» from Laura
That sounds SOOOOO scary! Even though it's shorter and more scenic to take the pass when traveling North, I never feel very safe on it. Too many stories about drunk drivers, falling rocks and deer! Kevin once hit a deer in Colorado and it knocked out his windshield (one of those tiny Hondas from the 70s). He had to drive in the snow with no windshield!
» from holly
to hear that you are okay! that is such a horrible experience! looks like you still managed to have fun though!
» from t
So scary! Glad to hear that your mostly okay. Maybe this is a sign that you need to stay put for awhile...
» from Mariko
Geez, what a story! I'm glad you were relatively unscathed. Poor deer, but he should have been looking where he was going! Take it easy.