Sunday, October 08, 2006

Risky Business

So remember a while back when I was talking about my new van that was going to be the perfect roadtrip rig? And how upon returning from the sweet roadtrip to Wyo and Montana I was going to sell it? Well, I still have it. Yup, it’s been 2.5 months and that 4-wheeled, piece of family-toting joy is still in my driveway.

But, weren’t you just going to drive it for 2 weeks and then come home and put it back on Craigslist? What happened?

We hit a deer. Yeah, one night while finishing a monumental day of hiking to Porcupine falls, trekking up to Medicine Wheel, and then heading to Cody for some famous Montana beef; a deer ran out in front of us and committed suicide on my van. We were driving a stretch of road than connects Powell to Cody—a drive that my family has driven hundreds of times with nary a swerve to avoid a deer—when I came high beams to antler with what can accurately be described as a deer-in-the-headlights.

He jumped out, I hit the brakes and swerved slightly (remember the road has on-coming traffic), he froze, and then turned my perfect investment into a liability. No passenger was hurt, the van is still drivable, and I guess my day ended better than his. However, the van’s hood and fender are dented severely enough to require replacement. Don’t forget that this purchase was all about saving money, so I am carrying a $1000 deductible on the van. Meaning: I’ve spent the last 2.5 months saving for the repair.

And even after all of this, I’d do it again, hopefully without the deer.

Remember Aron Rolston? You know, the guy who hiked into a Utah canyon and got his arm pinned beneath a boulder? I read a few excerpts from his book a few years ago and I’ve adopted a bit of his philosophy. Everything has risk. When he chose to hike alone into the canyons without informing anyone of his whereabouts, he took a risk. And, at the time of his choice, he determined that the reward for hiking that canyon outweighed the risk of becoming trapped and not being rescued. So, when he became trapped and realized that no rescue was coming he was not surprised, nor was he upset-for he had accepted the risk.

Before I bought the Sienna, I knew there was a risk. I understood, and even considered that a mishap could render it unsellable. I accepted that if that happened I would value it as a trade for the reward of driving my very own mini-van on a cross-state roadie. I have no justification to feel cheated, I made this choice fully understanding the risk.


Blogger Cheryl said...

Sorry man. I can empathize. We owned a Suzuki Jeep in Kenya. Just before we left Kenya we planned to sell the Jeep. Two days before we were to post the sale announcement...I got rearended in Nairobi traffic. The Suzuki was munched....big time. $2000 later....ouch...we had a sell-able car.
There is a bright side to all this...when you repair your injured vehicle, you'll have a wonderful family-friendly mini-van to sell. When we repaired ours...we still had a Suzuki. :-(

Sun Oct 08, 11:42:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Lori Ann said...


Mon Oct 09, 03:56:00 AM PDT  
Blogger kristi w said...

Ouch - sorry about that. But you're right, life would be really dull if we didn't take a good risk now and then.

Mon Oct 09, 12:39:00 PM PDT  
Blogger CJ said...

Oh deer.

Glad to hear that your calculated risk didn't involve any lost appendages.

Mon Oct 09, 01:14:00 PM PDT  
Blogger rebecca marie said...

i like that story. the part where you go "meh."

that's kind of my philosphy. meh.

it's like the whole hope thing. if things don't turn out, at least you got to hope for a while. it's kind of my favorite thing.

why i'm making a connection in my mind between risk and hope, i dunno man. i hope it makes sense to anyone but me. it's totally clear in my mind.

Mon Oct 09, 08:31:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Big Mike Lewis said...

Sorry dude!

It looks fixable though.

Wed Oct 11, 08:35:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Carol said...

It was a monumental day up until then, wasn't it!! We just traveled the road again, coming home from Denver today.
Sorry about the car.

Wed Oct 11, 05:19:00 PM PDT  

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