The Town Car takes a hit
Tuesday 2 December 2003
Path > Adelaide to Clare via Angle Vale Tarlee Watervale Penwortham Sevenhill in South Australia
Life has been settling down a little lately. I've caught up with friends and have settled into a heap of work.
But, true to form, I haven't really been living anywhere yet. I spend some time at the folks place near Clare, about 140 kilometres north of Adelaide and also at various friends and family around Adelaide.
My diary has been getting a workout, as I try to balance work and catching up, and most days have been filled with a bit of both. Of course, there is still the endless and almost daily search for the next phone line that I can borrow to get online and receive or deliver work, but that is also so much easier lately.
Last night had been the end of a busy weekend that had started last Thursday, when I'd driven to town to work at SA Dirt Bikes. After a pretty good weekend, I'd worked Monday and met up with everyone at the Atujara club meeting before heading back to the folks place in Clare.
It was a nice night for a drive. The air was crisp and the skies were clear, giving the Town Car the best conditions to stretch out on the open road. Despite this, I sat on the 110km/h speed limit as I bounced my way along the familiar roads.
When there were no cars around, the spotlights lit up the road and I spent some time trying to calculate their reach by sighting a marker and checking the odometer. The best I found was around about 600 metres, which I was pretty happy with. Especially as the glass on the right hand light had broken a few years ago as I returned from the first extended trip in the Daihatsu.
Everything went wrong out of Sevenhill. I was passed the 100km/h sign and getting back to speed when I spotted the kangaroo off to my left and about hundred metres further on. The recognition didn't take long as my foot came off of the accelerator and hung, poised over the brake.
It jumped, heading from the verge to the road and I knew that I had a problem. I hit the brakes and watched as the kangaroo landed and jumped again. I'd seen this many times before ? kangaroos can pivot and change direction by ninety degrees when they land ? and was hoping that the powerful lights had persuaded the roo to change course.
It wasn't to be and the THUD of the impact sounded out around the hillside.
I pulled over and checked the damage. The front of the bonnet was folded up and I couldn't quite see if any fluids were dripping. I didn't have a torch on me and couldn't see the roo, so decided that the best bet was to crawl the five or so kilometres to the folks place while the car was running and assess things from there.
I got some funny looks from the locals as I drove down the main street of Clare at 11:30pm. Only one light was working and the fold in the bonnet looked pretty good.
I stopped and told the police about the roo on the way back so that they could check the scene and got permission to drive the car home.
The temperature hadn't risen on the gauge, and the car steered ok, so maybe things aren't that bad?
I sat down and took some time to think about what had happened, replaying it in my mind.
I'd seen the roo and reacted quickly to get off the gas while I assessed the situation. I'd then hit the brakes to quickly reduce any impact speed.
I hadn't swerved violently and had possibly saved myself from a worse crash. I hadn't immediately locked up the brakes and shut my eyes.
This morning I took a moment to assess the damage with camera in hand. Despite the fact that I haven't lifted the bonnet yet, it doesn't look too bad.
Looks like I'll have to find my tools again tomorrow?
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