Over the 43 years of my personal driving history, I have had no serious accidents. Always interested in the landscape and wildlife along the road, I have never been prone to excessive speed; in fact, of my few moving violations, one was for driving too slow, late at night in New Mexico, when my son and I were watching for meteors in the spectacular desert sky. Unfortunately, this impeccable driving record ended yesterday morning.
Descending southward from the Palmer Divide, north of Limon, Colorado, we entered a freezing mist and ice began to accumulate on the windshield. No sooner had I mentioned this observation to my wife than our pickup began to fishtail on the highway. Remembering to avoid braking and to steer in the direction of the slide, I managed to keep the truck on the highway but took out a berm marker in the process; alas, my cherished Tacoma now has a vertical dent just behind the cab.
Of course, the outcome could have been far worse and, though I was already driving below the speed limit, I will certainly heed such weather changes more quickly in the future. Indeed, we and most of our fellow travelers crawled along the icy highway all the way to Burlington, where we finally left the freezing drizzle in our wake. Human technology has not yet offered immunity to the challenges of winter travel, a fact that yesterday's mishap made painfully clear.