Woodworking vacation #2: Off to a rough start

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Blog entry by Betsy posted 05-18-2008 04:26 AM 1601 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Getting ready to go Part 2 of Woodworking vacation series Part 3: Made it to Berea! »

Well day one of my grand adventure did not go so well. Just got past Hope, Arkansas (for those not in know—that’s President Bill Clinton’s hometown)——going along nicely making good time. Then WHAMO – I got hit from behind. Mind you I was going just at 70 on cruise control! Guy behind me fell asleep (noon) and I guess he hit the gas and ran right into me – I saw him at the very last second in my mirror but had no time to do any evasive actions. Pushed the rear bumper into both tires, blew out the back window, buckled the two back doors (one does not open), buckled the quarter panels, the back hatch opens—- but does not close properly, the trim inside is way out of whack, the inside storage compartment is whopper jawed now. I don’t know if they will total it out, but I’m guessing they will.

I think the bumper rubbing against the tires actually acted like a brake to help me slow down. I did not loose control of the car – but was able to steer it onto the shoulder. The tires did not blow out so that was a blessing.

I am quite sore and stiff already and have a headache. I’m not sure if that is from the impact or the tension and being scared. I didn’t know I could shake that much. The young man that hit me was not hurt although his car doesn’t look so good. He was a very nice young man, clean cut, college kid on his way to a summer internship. I feel bad for him = he also got a ticket for wreckless driving – that will hurt.

I managed to remember that I had my camera and did snap a few pictures of the damage. I can’t post them here because most show license plate numbers and I don’t know how to shadow them out.

I had to have the car towed and then the tow truck driver was nice enough to drive me back to Texarkansas to rent a car. I’m driving on toward Kentucky – but have obviously stopped for the night. I’ll have to decide in the morning if I’m up to going forward or if I should go back home or stay put in the hotel. I’ve got another 500 miles to go that seems like a lot right now. I must admit that I’m concerned about the standing and other activities the class will entail, but we’ll see how I do in the morning. I’ve got a lot invested in the class and sure don’t want to have to back out of it.

All in all not the best start to a vacation. But cars can be replaced (although that one was paid off!) and while I’m sure I’ll be sore and stiff for a few days – I think I’ll be okay. Just pray that I avoid back spasms from the ordeal. My back is not in great shape to start with and back spasms would not help one bit. I guess I’m a bit of a delicate flower as well—- standing in the sun after the accident – I got a sunburn!

I’m trying to a have a good attitude about all this—- but I’m sure I’ll probably be mad tomorrow – especially if I can’t go on the rest of the trip. Wish me well.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

9 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3410 days

#1 posted 05-18-2008 04:55 AM

Bummer! What else is there to say, except I’m glad that you weren’t hurt.

Good luck!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3243 days

#2 posted 05-18-2008 11:42 AM

I agree with Gary that the main thing it that neither you or the young man were seriously hurt. Material things can be replaced. I just hope that you can go ahead with your plans for the Mehler school. This is a nice opportunity for you and one that you obviously have been looking forward to for some time.

Keep us posted on what is happening with you.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View TedM's profile


2002 posts in 3154 days

#3 posted 05-18-2008 12:01 PM

Ouch! Sorry to hear about this. Would hate to see you miss the course. :(

-- I'm a wood magician... I can turn fine lumber into firewood before your very eyes! - Please visit and sign up for my project updates!

View GMoney's profile


158 posts in 3225 days

#4 posted 05-18-2008 02:43 PM

Hey Betsy,

That is too bad after looking forward to this trip for so long. Good job keeping control of your car, not everyone can do that. You have a great loving attitude and that will take you far. I really hope you feel better today and have great things to report about the course.

-- Greg, CT

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3361 days

#5 posted 05-18-2008 03:24 PM

That’s quite an ordeal to start a vacation, and a sunburn to boot! It’s good to hear that you were seriously hurt and you’re keeping a positive attitude. Hope you get to enjoy your class. That will certainly help release some tension.

-- Working at Woodworking

View ShannonRogers's profile


540 posts in 3209 days

#6 posted 05-18-2008 05:15 PM

Glad to hear you are ok. What a terrible way to start a vacation. I know that when sh&%*t happens to me like that, I want to go home and hang out in my shop to chill out. I hope you feel well enough to carry on with the class as it will be the best therapy you can ask for. Good luck and keep us posted.

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

View Blake's profile


3442 posts in 3296 days

#7 posted 05-18-2008 06:55 PM

So glad you weren’t hurt. I hope you can get to your woodworking class… maybe it’s just what you need to relax. Feel better and take it easy.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Betsy's profile


3336 posts in 3317 days

#8 posted 05-19-2008 01:29 AM

Thanks guys. Sure is a bummer of a way to start. I guess we’ll find out how much of a tough-old-bird that I really am!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Taigert's profile


593 posts in 3262 days

#9 posted 05-29-2008 06:23 PM

When we moved from Chicago to Seattle ten years ago, my wife drove our car and I drove the truck. We were at the seven mile mark west bound on I-80 at about 8:00 at night and a tractor trailer rear ended my wife. The State Trooper figured his speed to be over 100 mph. Some how my wife did not loose control. Our three year old son was in the back seat strpped into his car seat. Luckly like your accident no was hurt badly, just bruises and sore for awhile. It a scarry thing to be hit like that.
Thank God your OK,

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

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