With a bang

First, know that I’m alright. No injuries whatsoever.

On the way to work yesterday I made my routine turns through the snowy streets, routine run through the countryside, routine paranoid lane change through the profligate stop lights and sprawl of airbag alley (the northern fringe of Kalispell), and made a left on to a small back street which is depending on traffic flow the fastest way to the office. 20 seconds later, going perhaps 25 mph, a big blue truck pulled in front of me and, lacking even a second to tap the brakes, I hit him.


Occasionally things do end with a bang, rather than a whimper.

Beyond the fright of a very close call (wear your seatbelts, between mine and the airbag my decceleration was remarkably gentle), and the inconvenience of expedited car shopping (we were due in a few months, anyway), I am sad because of the abrupt and rude end to a very good era. M and I bought Josey the Xterra almost eight years ago. We had been married for a year and a half, and were embarking on what would become our path as adults sharing the world as a way of life. I built a plywood sleeping platform in her parents driveway with a rented circular saw, we lived in the truck through the winter, landed in Arizona the next summer, and put over 200,000 miles under the tires in the course of seeing a lot of our world, together.


Cars are a necessity in just about any corner of America, especially ours, where almost everything is over an hour away at highway speeds. Cultural tropes and baggage aside, spending all those hours inside something so intimatly tied to both happiness and safety cannot but engender a connection. Josey, we’ll remember you fondly.

9 responses to “With a bang”

  1. Glad to hear you’re OK! I feel for you with the truck. We lost our beloved Saab last spring to an accident (my fault), and while no one was hurt, thankfully, it was very sad to see that car go to scrap. And you guys had a special history with Josey. Sorry for you loss, but glad it’s only the vehicular kind. – Paul (random reader of your blog)

  2. — Josey, we’ll remember you fondly. —

    Your comment reminds me of the scene in The Motorcycle Diaries when they say goodbye to La Poderosa.

  3. All is well that ends well…any chance I could steal the roof rack crossbars from you if you still can get at them. I’d be happy to drive up sometime or pay for shipping, our Xterra’s were ripped off in an unfortunately screaming child filled car incident involving my mountain bike/roof rack/ garage several months ago.


    1. Ouch!

      The car is actually headed down to Missoula to be assessed and then (presumably) crushed into a small cube. The Yakima crossbars we’ll keep. The stock crossbars we discarded years ago. The stock rails (parallel with the long axis on the truck) were actually coming loose in one place (joint between tubes) which seemed a bit sketchy. So if that part is useful it might be coming to a junkyard near you.

      1. Thanks…I just need the crossbars, thankfully the rails stayed on the car!

  4. No bueno. Glad to hear that you’re unscathed, save for the harsh severance from your trusty steed. You were so close to the big 300K mile mark.

  5. Glad to hear you’re okay. Funny how attached we get to our cars, but better the car than you anyday.

  6. […] Sunday, but with low 60s projected in Choteau for Saturday and the free rental car from my accident still available, I woke up in the dark Saturday and made track for skiing.  Conditions were […]

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