When Jim Morrison wrote his lyrics about how “The West is the best”, he was not thinking of I-15, I can tell you that much! He was not thinking of all the people pulling guns against cops for not particular reason, or just against random people at the mall, fighting for a sale, or of the horribly polluted air between the canyons, either. These, and many others, are random truths you find for yourself once you move and live here.
The one truth I found in probably my first month of living here, is that the main Interstate that goes by my house and is virtually the only access way to anywhere here, I-15, is surely a death trap! I wrote many times about how the speed limit here is anywhere above 25+ mph higher than what the road signs say, and how there are no rules, or, ahem, there are the Wild West Rules, meaning, every man for himself, into himself, however they deem fit!
I have nightmares occasionally about dying hit by a car on I-15. Because, I am telling you, one day of commuting on that thing could cure you of driving for life!
And I commute, an hour every day, at least. You can’t tune out life, because at any given second some idiot does something stupid that you must avoid – cuts you off, switches lanes with no signal, straddles the lanes, runs you into the wall of the HOV lane, you name it.
Well, tonight was my unlucky (and amazingly lucky, too) night of hitting a flying full size mattress in the fastest lane. You read right: a mattress. There was no way to avoid it – cars flying by me to my left and my right, so the only choice I had was “let” it settle down and drive over it. At 70 mph! And so I did. The liner, of course, came unraveled, and spun around and around and around my front wheel, making sure that the foam was securely tight under my tires.
Luckily, I could pull into the HOV lane, and beyond, on that lane’s shoulder, and also amazingly luckily, a Utah Highway patrolman was parked across the street from me. He zoomed over to my lane and after jacking the car up, taking the wheel completely off and cutting the liner from around my wheel axle, he freed me up to be able to drive off towards my house!
My disgust for people who don’t use common sense when they haul things, light things, that can fly away from a bed of a truck, was only surpassed by my gratitude for this patrolman, who was so kind, so patient, so collected and hesitated none at getting himself dirty, taking the flaming hot lug nuts off my wheel, handling the huge and disgustingly dirty mattress, to get me back to safety.
There are good people in the world, everywhere. I just wanted to stop a spell and be grateful today, when they showed up for me, to rescue me from the death trap of I-15.
Throughout the whole ordeal of being stuck on the shoulder of the fastest lane with cars zooming by at 90+ mph, I had to think of something to keep my sanity – and that was this:
Be safe, everyone. And whatever you do – tie that sucker down when you move it to your kid’s dorm!
Mattress under car, liner around the wheel and officer trying to jack the car up
Mattress stuck in the front shield of the car
Free at least! Check out the size of that thing!